Pregnant Bhayander minor puts kin in a fix, police seek advice on abortion

Sunday, 8 December 2013 - 8:52am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The Bhayander police have come across an unusual underage pregnancy case.

When a 15-year-old girl, complaining of severe stomach ache, was rushed to the KEM hospital, it was discovered that she’s pregnant for more than three months.

Police officials have booked her lover for rape, but they are yet to arrest him as the girl is not revealing his name or age for fear that he might be harmed.

KEM hospital doctors have approached the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) for legal advice as the girl’s parents want an abortion.

The girl, a class IX student from a poor background, resides in Bhayander with her maternal relatives.

“She has revealed that she was in love with a boy and indulged in sexual intercourse, becoming pregnant after unprotected sex. It was only after doctors confirmed pregnancy, a case has been registered at Bhayander police station,” said a police official.

“For now, we have registered a case under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Act. The girl has given us sketchy details of the boy and we are yet to make arrests,” he said.

“We have sought the CWC’s help to medically terminate pregnancy as per her family’s wish. But the girl is not ready to speak about the case and I am trying to pacify her and take her statement,” said inspector BA Mithari, investigation officer.

“The girl is in a state of shock and is admitted to the KEM hospital. I will meet her once again to calm her down and take a detailed statement,” she said.

According to rules, if the pregnancy is too advanced, the girl can be taken to a girls’  home for counselling and care until she delivers her baby.

Once born, DNA testing of the baby, can be used as evidence in nailing the accused.

Child welfare panel can play a role
The CWC must issue a memo for the medical examination of the child. Medical reports are vital to the prosecution and conviction of the abuser. In the case of pregnancy as an outcome of sexual abuse, the CWC can recommend an abortion with the consent of the parents

“Termination of pregnancy can only be carried out in government-run hospitals like KEM, Nair and JJ. CWC plays a crucial role after parents or guardians approach them for help,” said Priti Kadam, gynaecologist

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, and its amendment in 2002 and 2003, allows doctors to provide mifepristone and misoprostol on prescription until the seventh week of pregnancy.

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