A 16-year-old rape survivor in Uttar Pradesh has been denied permission to terminate her pregnancy by a medical panel on Wednesday, which took nearly a week to give its report. The girl said she seems to be slowly losing her battle with the system “neither understands nor is empathetic” to her anguish. The minor survivor will now once again file a plea in the HC asking who will take care of the baby.
In the past four months, the pregnant teenager has made several trips to courts and hospitals, making a one-way journey of 50 km from Bairamnagar village to Bareilly city nearly every day. “The journey was always tough. We did not have enough money to hire cars. We would walk in the scorching heat and change vehicles at least four times. What hurts me most is that people have failed to understand my pain. The accused, who employed me as a cook, repeatedly raped me. But once I conceived, he abandoned me,” said the victim. Her family says they have been left helpless and does not know which door to knock.
According to the sources, the girl had petitioned the court of additional chief judicial magistrate-2 (ACJM-2) on July 26 this year for termination of her then 26 weeks’ pregnancy. “I will not be in a position to raise the baby because of our finances and because the child will be a constant reminder of my trauma and shame,” she said, recalling how the court had then rejected her plea. On August 24 the family had subsequently moved to the Allahabad High Court, requesting intervention in the matter
The medical report said that she will be unable to abort her fetus under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act which states that termination of pregnancy in such an advanced stage was not permissible. “We will again file a writ plea in the HC on Friday. We will ask what should be done to the baby now. We will also request the court to take steps for the future of the child and ask the court to pass an order as to who will take care and bear expenses of the kid,” said the family’s lawyer VP Dhyani.
“Since the accused and his family have refused to accept the child, it will be bereft of his father’s name. If the kid is born, it would always remind me of my trauma. Everyone has been telling us that the fetus cannot be aborted, but what about me? What about my life? I want the court or the government to hand over the child for adoption,” said the girl.
The girl’s father, who is a laborer, said that “We are clear that we do not want this child as my daughter is a child herself. Nobody will accept her for marriage in future. Besides, the entire village is against this pregnancy. We have received threats that we will be forced to leave our house if this birth takes place,” Adding to that he also said that they are not in a position to feed another mouth.