In the instant matter at hand X v. State of UP A 12-year-old girl who was underage filed a writ petition asking for instructions on how to end her pregnancy in accordance with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. The kid was unable to describe how her neighbour had sexually abused and raped her. In an FIR against the defendant, the mother alleged violations of Sections 376 and 354-C of the Penal Code of 1860 as well as Sections 3, 4, and 8 of the POCSO Act 2012. On June 16, 2023, a medical check was carried out, and it was discovered that the youngster was 23 weeks pregnant. Based on the ultrasound scan, the Medical Board found that the pregnancy was 25 weeks and two days along, but because the anaemia was severe and the pregnancy was already over the 24-week mark, the Medical Board decided that a court order would be necessary to end the pregnancy.
Analysis of Court Decision
The Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University has been asked to instruct the Principal of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh to form a five-member team headed by the Departments of Radiodiagnosis, Anaesthesia, and Obstetrics and Gynaecology will evaluate the minor and provide a report to the Court. The division bench of the Allahabad High Court is composed of Justice Mahesh Chandra Tripathi and Justice Prashant Kumar.
The Court decided that a woman’s pregnancy between 20 and 24 weeks can only be terminated under specific circumstances, such as when doctors feel it will endanger her life or seriously harm her physical or mental health. For terminations between 20 and 24 weeks, the Central Government specifies seven criteria, including minors and victims of sexual abuse, rape, or incest. The court further declared that, as required by Section 3(2)(i) of the MTP Act, the suffering brought on by a pregnancy that is purportedly the result of a rape is deemed to represent grave impairment to the pregnant woman’s mental health. As a result, even by statute, it is assumed that the rape damaged a juvenile victim’s mental health.
The Court concluded that, unless there are serious foetal anomalies, the Act does not permit the termination of pregnancies lasting more than 24 weeks. The Constitutional Courts have, however, permitted abortions when the pregnancy is more than 24 weeks long. The Court made it clear that depriving women of their freedom to avoid medical abortion and motherhood would violate their human rights, including their right to a dignified existence and their right to become parents. Victims of forced abortion would experience indescribable suffering.
CASE NAME – X v. State of UP, WRIT C No. 22016 of 2023