Wednesday, May 29, 2024

“Read Manusmriti,” says Gujarat HC in plea for abortion by minor rape survivor

While hearing a plea seeking termination of over 7-month-old fetus of a minor rape survivor, the Gujarat High Court on Wednesday orally observed how it was “normal” in the past for 14-15-year-old girls to get married and deliver a child before they turn 17.

“Do read Manusmriti once for this,” Justice Samir J. Dave stated, according to LiveLaw.

Manusmriti is a Hindu scripture widely criticised for gender biases and caste-based ideas. It is endorsed by Hindu supremacists.

The court directed a medical examination of the minor girl through the Panel of Doctors of the Civil Hospital on an urgent basis.

Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Rules, abortion is permitted till 20 weeks of pregnancy. Women and minors who have been sexually assaulted, raped or face incest can abort the foetus at 24 weeks.

“If any serious ailment is there in the mother or the fetus, the Court can certainly consider, if both are normal, it would be very difficult for the court to pass an order (for termination), take it from me,” the Court said.

Advocate Sikander Saiyed, appearing for the petitioner, told the court that the girl was 16 years and 11 months old and that her pregnancy would have an adverse impact on her mental health.

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