Rape victims can abort without Medical board, judiciary nod: Madras HC

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The Madras High Court Friday has ruled that there is no necessity for a rape victim to approach the medical board or the judiciary to terminate her pregnancy if it has not exceeded 20 weeks.

Justice N Anand Venkatesh said that in all cases of unneeded pregnancy suffered by a victim, she need not be referred to the medical board if the length of pregnancy does not exceed 20 weeks.

“The termination of pregnancy can be done as per the provisions of Section 3 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. The victim girl should not be unnecessarily made to knock the doors of this court,” he said in his order.

The decision came after the petitioner, a girl, who was allegedly raped under threats leading to her pregnancy, sought a direction to transfer the probe from local police to the Crime Branch CID.

The victim had to move from one authority to another seeking directions to terminate her pregnancy.

The petitioner’s Counsel, Sudha Ramalingam, submitted that in all cases involving medical termination of pregnancy, where the pregnancy is below 20 weeks, the victim should not be made to knock on the doors of the court.

Further, the judge stated that even in cases where the length of pregnancy exceeds 20 weeks, it can be terminated (in accordance with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act) if the life of the woman was under threat.

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