Kochi: The Kerala High Court has accepted the plea to terminate a 24-week pregnancy made by a 15-year-old rape victim.
The court has also directed the state to constitute a medical team for the procedure. Justice V G Arun noted while considering the plea that if the baby is born alive the hospital shall provide it the best treatment.
Besides, if the petitioner or her family were unwilling to take responsibility of the baby, the state government should assume full responsibility, the court ruled.
The verdict comes on the same day the Delhi High Court refused to allow an unmarried woman to undergo medical termination of her 23-week pregnancy.
The Delhi HC observed that abortion was not permitted after 20 weeks for pregnancy arising out of a consensual relationship. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 provides an outer limit of 24 weeks, beyond which termination is not permissible.
The petitioner in the Delhi case is a 25-year-old woman, who had said that the man with whom she was in a consensual relationship had refused to marry her.
Meanwhile, in the Kerala case, High Court sided with the minor petitioner. "Having given careful thought to the vexing question, I deem it appropriate to lean in favour of the minor girl, rather than sticking to the strict letter of law," the court said in an order issued on July 14.
(With agency inputs)