Gujarat HC’s ‘Regressive’ Observation On 16-YO Rape Survivor Seeking Abortion Faces Backlash

According to the amended Section 3 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act in India, the maximum limit for abortions is 24 weeks (6 months), that too in special cases where the victim is a rape or incest survivor. However, the prior approval of two registered doctors is required. The doctors have to make sure that the continuation of the pregnancy can endanger the lives of both the mother and the child. But the judges can also deny abortion in cases that are “inappropriate and deserving”.

Speaking of which, while hearing the plea of a 16-years and 11-month-old rape survivor, who is 7 months pregnant and wanted an abortion, Gujarat HC observed that it was “normal” for 14-15-year-old girls to get married and have a child in the past. The bench also asked the petitioner to read the Manusmriti, reported LiveLaw.

Image source

“Because we are living in the 21st century, ask your mother or great-grandmother, 14-15 was the maximum age (for getting married). The child used to take birth before the age of 17. Girls get matured before boys. 4-5 months here and there doesn’t make a difference. You will not read it, but do read Manusmriti once for this,” the court observed.

This observation by judges angered many people online who called it regressive. Some even demanded proper mechanisms for the removal of such backward judges.

What are your views on this observation by Gujarat HC?

📣 Storypick is now on Telegram! Click here to join our channel (@storypick) and never miss another great story.