SC says no to termination of victim's pregnancyhttp://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/4804983.cmsTNN 22 July 2009, 03:01am IST
|good fucking gawd humanity is supposed to evolve not de-volve……… sigh BE OUTRAGED~! Government stay away from MY BODY! stop beating raping and killing US!!!! STOP IT!
NEW DELHI/CHANDIGARH: In a landmark pro-life decision, the Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed 19-year-old mentally challenged woman, who had
allegedly been raped in Nari Niketan in Chandigarh’s Sector 26, to keep the resulting pregnancy and set aside the Punjab and Haryana High Court ruling ordering medical termination.
The HC had ordered medical termination of the girl’s 19-week-old pregnancy after coming to the conclusion that since she was unable to take care of herself, she should be relieved of the pregnancy given the state of her condition - both mental and physical.
The HC was guided by opinion of two panels of doctors, including psychiatrists and gynaecologists, which assessed the rape victim to be of the mental age of 7-9 years. They had expressed concern over her ability to undertake pre-natal and post-natal precautions and care, though they were unanimous that she was physically fit to carry the pregnancy and deliver the child.
The SC allowed her to keep the pregnancy as it was in an advanced stage and the National Trust for Mentally Retarded pledged to take care of the mother and child for the rest of their lives.
Initially, a Bench comprising Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and BS Chauhan, which in the past has dismissed PILs seeking abolition of death sentence, appeared to be torn between the mentally retarded girl’s right to motherhood and its apprehension about the child’s future.
The unfortunate girl’s case was presented in a legal docket scribbled with emotional arguments by counsel Tanu Bedi, who sought the SC’s intervention to allow the orphan girl to have her first blood relation through the child she was carrying.
‘If her mental age is a consideration for the judiciary to think that she cannot take care of her baby, why should poor women, who are found lacking in bringing up their children, be allowed to become mothers,’ Bedi asked.
Appearing for Chandigarh administration, counsel Anupam Gupta referred to the support flowing in from NGOs for the rape victim and said it would be wrong to get swayed by the response of NGOs as there was no guarantee that they would continue doing so for the entire lifetime of the girl and the child after it was born.
When the court asked why the state could not take care of the mother and child, Gupta said, ‘Let’s not get swept off our feet by euphoria shown by NGOs to support the mentally challenged girl and let’s not be blind to the ground reality. Even normal parents take it as a setback if their child turns out to be mentally challenged. If the girl’s child turns out to be mentally retarded, then will the NGOs be there to lend support constantly and continuously’
The Bench conceded that the girl was not in a position to take care of herself and her child. ‘The foetus is fine and does not appear to suffer from any deformity. We cannot say for sure whether the child will be mentally retarded. The pregnancy is in an advanced stage. Moreover, if someone agrees to take care of the mother through the pregnancy and the child when it is born, then why should she be deprived of motherhood,’ it said.
The Bench, which ordered stay of the HC order, said it would soon come out with a detailed judgment on the case.
Helping the mother-child
Some NGOs came forward on Tuesday for providing help to the victim and her issue. Even National Trust for Disabled offered to adopt the child. But SC stated that its decision about the fate of the unborn will be specified in the final orders
May 16: Victim, residing in Aashreya after being shifted from Nari Niketan, found pregnant in tests at Government Medical College and
Hospital, Sector 32
May 27: UT administration moves a writ petition in HC seeking termination of the pregnancy
June 9: HC orders constitution of expert panel comprising PGI specialists to ascertain her condition
July 1: Expert panel not unanimous. Coordinator opposes abortion
July 17: HC directs UT to terminate the pregnancy forthwith
HC order challenged in SC late in the evening
July 20: SC notice to UT
July 21: SC stays HC ruling