In a very progressive move, the Madras High Court passed a judgment ruling that a rape victim need not get the court's permission to abort her unwanted pregnancy. The court further directed doctors to follow the protocol with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act.
"The victim girl should not be unnecessarily made to knock the doors of this court," the judge's ruling said, reports IANS.
The court added, "In cases of this nature, the doctors and the courts need to be more sensitive and should act fast since the victim girl is carrying a foetus, which keeps reminding her of the agony faced by her due to rape and every moment she suffers mental agony and depression due to the unwanted pregnancy that has been forced against her."
Madras High Court's Justice N Anand Venkatesh said that if the rape victim's pregnancy has not gone beyond 20 weeks, "victim need not be referred to the medical board and the termination of pregnancy can be done as per the provisions of Section 3 of the MTP Act, 1971". They added that if the pregnancy is within 20 weeks, the duration is irrelevant.
This ruling was passed after a rape victim in Tamil Nadu was denied abortion at many government hospital and was made to run in circles even though she got permission from the court.
At last on June 17, she was given an abortion after strict instruction from the High Court and the matter went to hearing in the Court on June 19 regarding the misinterpretation of the MTP Act.