HC asks teenager to clearly tell if she wants to terminate pregnancy

HC asks teenager to clearly tell if she wants to terminate pregnancy
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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked a 15-year-old girl to clearly state whether she wanted to terminate her over 26-week pregnancy, from an alleged marriage to a man she had eloped with.

A division bench of Justice S. Murlidhar and Justice I.S. Mehta asked the girl, through her parents, to give a statement in writing on whether she wanted the pregnancy to be terminated, after noting that she had made contradictory statements before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), the medical board at AIIMS and then, before the court.

She appeared before the court after which the judges had a conversation with her inside the judge’s chamber. The girl told the judges that she had re-thought her position and wanted to terminate the pregnancy to pursue with her studies.

“To the court, it appears that the petitioner is prevaricating,” the bench said.

“Before passing such an order (for constitution of medical board) the court would want to be assured that the petitioner will not again change her mind,” it said, adding: “The petitioner should unambiguously state in the affidavit whether she consents to the termination of her pregnancy.”

On Monday the court had directed the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to produce before it the medical opinion given by the doctors on her plea, seeking to medically terminate her pregnancy.

The girl had gone missing since March 31 after she left home following an altercation with her mother. She was recovered from village Narora in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr after her parent moved the high court with a petition to find her.

She was then sent to Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre as she refused to go with her parents. Later, the girl went back to her parents. On November 27, the accused, with whom she ran away, was taken into custody.

On December 8, she appeared before the CWC and expressed desire to undergo medical procedure to terminate her pregnancy.

When she was sent for medical examination at AIIMS on December 13, she retracted from her previous statement saying that she was not willing for abortion and her pregnancy is a result of marriage.

In its report, the AIIMS noted that her pregnancy was a result of rape as her age is below 18 years but the pregnancy termination was not advisable as she was already more than 25 weeks pregnant.

The father of the girl claimed that the AIIMS has refused to carry out the procedure to terminate the pregnancy and opinion of the doctors was not even given to him.

He moved the court and sought immediate constitution of a medical board at AIIMS to examine if it was medically safe to terminate the pregnancy.

IANS