The Bombay high court on Friday permitted a 16-year-old rape survivor to undergo medical termination her 24-and-half-week pregnancy after her father filed a petition.

The HC said, “In view of her history and the fact that teenage pregnancy carries a risk of higher mental and physical morbidity and mortality, medical termination of pregnancy has been recommended by the medical board.” The order was passed via a videoconference hearing. The plea had sought urgent orders during the ongoing lockdown and the state and centre supported its urgency. The girl was 23-weeks pregnant then.

The family from Pune had found out that the 16-year-old survivor was already 21-weeks pregnant when they took her to a hospital. The doctors there expressed their inability to terminate the pregnancy as the law bars abortions beyond 20 weeks under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. An FIR had already been lodged for rape under Protection of Children from Sexual Offence and IPC.

The father’s plea argued that that his daughter, being just 16, was likely to suffer mental and physical trauma due to the unwanted and dangerous pregnancy. On May 5 the HC had directed a medical panel headed by the dean of Sasoon Hospital to examine her.The panel recommended termination.