Should a minor’s abortion be left to the mercy of the court?

Should a minor’s abortion be left to the mercy of the court?

Should a minor’s abortion be left to the mercy of the court?

A 10 years old rape victim is left at the mercy of the court to decide if she could be allowed to terminate her pregnancy or forced to carry with the pregnancy against her will. The court denies the girl abortion. Her consent is once again thrashed since she is obviously too young to understand the implications.

It is understandable that Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act bars abortion of foetus beyond 20 weeks but the girl is not just a minor but a 10 years old minor which is a very rare case of conceiving at the beginning of ovulating age. The girl will be at a risk of losing the right to a normal life and in worse case not live to have a future if her pregnancy caused out of rape is not terminated. Her case is to be considered by higher court which will cause further delay.


1. Law says so

The doctors are not to act against law by carrying out the abortion that is apparently constricted by the Indian law. If they would have acted on whim and carried out the termination of pregnancy, they could end up losing their license and in case the girl did not survive, the family would be blaming the doctors too.

2. Risk involved

Termination of pregnancy of the 10 year old would pose grave threat to her life as she is too young for it. Her pregnancy has also gone to the advanced stage of 6 months where it becomes risky for even a mature woman to go through with abortion. The complication of the matter is what forced the court to reject abortion and the higher court too is not expected to hurry with the judgment.

3. She could be scarred for life

Coping with rape and then with an abortion could scar the 10 years old for life. She is too young to carry the pregnancy and delivering the baby will be risky too but since abortion has grave risks for the girl too, it would be wise to wait and let her have a chance at surviving childbirth.


1. Psychological risks

She will be mentally distressed for life if she is to carry with the progress of the pregnancy and deliver the child of her rapist uncle. A part of the horrific incident will live with her even as she recovers physically. It would be unjust to put her through all that after having suffered such an atrocity at an early age. The court should have mercy on the little girl and grant her permit to abort the pregnancy as soon as possible.

2. Risks

Delivering child at such a tender age could cause a number of health issues like anaemia, high blood pressure and haemorrhaging. The pelvic bone is not developed too. Caesarean delivery will also be a complication to carry out at this age. The doctors are recommending an abortion and the court should not stand in the way and cause further delay.

3. Unsafe abortions

If the court delays or denies abortions in such cases and this one especially where the victim’s parents trusted the authorities to help them instead of going for the easy illegal ways that are readily available at small clinics of the country, it would only discourage other such people from coming forth to get legal permits. The top cause of death in female adolescents is unsafe abortions according to World Health Organization.

4. Justice

BBC reports that India has the world’s largest population of sexually abused children, with a child under 10 raped every 13 hours. India needs stricter laws against child abuse but to make the child carry the pregnancy would only add to her miseries.

Looking at this, we see that the consequences on both the sides are dire. However, if the girl is granted the right to terminate the pregnancy it can save her from psychological trauma and physical scarring for life.
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