A 16-year-old girl, who got pregnant after being raped, was allowed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday to have an abortion at 26 weeks, The Indian Express reported.
The court asked the Medical Board of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, to carry out the abortion at the earliest possible date.
The girl’s father had approached the High Court asking that they be allowed to terminate the the pregnancy. Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain on October 6 sought the opinion of a panel of doctors on whether the termination is safe. The medical board of the Chandigarh institute said the procedure could be undertaken.
Indian law allows abortion of foetuses up to 20 weeks old, but courts can make exceptions in case abnormalities are detected and if there is substantial risk to the mother’s life and health. A Bill introduced in Parliament in 2014 that proposes extending the legally permissible period to terminate a pregnancy to 24 weeks is still pending. The Supreme Court has recently heard multiple petitions seeking to terminate pregnancies over 20 weeks. In August, the top court had allowed a 13-year-old, who had been raped, to have an abortion at 31 weeks of pregnancy.