The Kerala High Court allowed the termination of the pregnancy of a 10-year-old girl, who was impregnated by her father. A plea filed by the minor’s mother, a native of Kollam district, was heard by Justice PV Kunhikrishnan’s bench. Because the pregnancy was about 31 weeks, the court ruled that if the baby was alive, the hospital would have to provide the finest medical care possible so that the baby may grow into a healthy child.
If the parents refused to take full responsibility for the child, the state government and the child welfare committee were instructed to take full responsibility for the child.
On March 7, the court accepted the plea and ordered the formation of a medical board to examine the minor’s pregnancy stage. “Since the pregnancy is approximately 31 weeks and breech presentation, operational delivery is required with the related anaesthesia and surgical risks,” the medical board wrote in its report. At 30 weeks and 6 days, the baby has an 80% chance of surviving. There’s a chance of neonatal morbidities and NICU admission, as well as negative neurodevelopmental outcomes for the baby. We are ethically and medicolegally obligated to resuscitate and care for the newborn at 30 weeks 6 days.”
The mother of the rape victim requested the court for an order allowing her daughter to have her pregnancy terminated medically under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971. The court stated that it was a sad situation in which a 10-year-old rape victim was pregnant and that the medical board stated that the baby had an 80% chance of survival. “Her own father is the suspected offender.”
If the claim is true, I am ashamed of it myself, and everyone else in society should bow their heads as well. I am confident that our legal system will punish him in accordance with the law.
Abortion Laws across the World
The freedom to choose whether or not to continue a pregnancy is protected under international human rights legislation. The right to abortion has been established in the context of the rights to life, health, autonomy, and bodily integrity.
The Supreme Court of Mexico, Latin America’s second-most populous country, ruled in September 2021 that an absolute ban on abortion was unconstitutional. The court stated that the right of women to make their own reproductive decisions should take precedence over the safety of the foetus.
Abortions are only authorised in Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba, Guyana, and French Guiana elsewhere in Latin America. Abortion is illegal in the small Central American nation, and those who break the law face lengthy prison sentences.
California‘s abortion laws are more liberal than those of Texas, which approved legislation in September 2021 prohibiting abortions after the detection of a foetal heartbeat, as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, according to anti-abortion activists.
Even in cases of rape or incest, the stringent rule makes no exceptions. At the start of 2021, new Polish abortion regulations went into effect, making it one of the strictest in Europe. In a contentious decision, the Constitutional Court ruled that terminating pregnancies due to congenital deformities should be prohibited, effectively outlawing abortion.
The law was recently rejected in its first reading by the Polish parliament, but the country’s conservative forces are unlikely to be content with that decision.
While Germany‘s criminal code prohibits abortion, women who get obligatory counselling within 12 weeks of conception, if the pregnancy poses a health risk, or if the pregnancy is the consequence of rape are exempt from the legislation.
Thailand’s parliament approved by a wide margin in early 2021 to allow abortions up to the 12th week of pregnancy. With a few exceptions, the technique was once considered a criminal violation that may result in prison time. If the 12-week timeframe is surpassed, fines and jail are still conceivable.
Despite Catholic Church opposition, the Beninese parliament enacted a new law in October that made abortion easier. The constitutional court’s ratification is merely a formality.
Abortions will now be authorised in the West African country if the pregnancy “is likely to worsen or produce a situation of material, educational, professional, or moral anguish incompatible with the woman’s and/or the unborn child’s interests.”
Abortions are only permitted under very strict conditions and are considered a social taboo in many of Africa‘s neighbouring countries.