Gujarat HC bars rape victim from aborting child, says 'a foetus too has right to live'

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Ahmedabad, Apr 17: Claiming that a foetus is a living being with a fundamental right to live, the Gujarat High Court on Thursday barred a 24-year-old gangrape victim from aborting her unborn child.

Guj HC bars rape victim from aborting child

The survivor, who is 27 month pregnant, had appealed the Gujarat High Court to seek permission to abort the child saying the baby won't be accepted by her husband. The woman in her petition had claimed that her husband might disown her if she gave birth to somebody else's child.

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As per an India Today report, high court rejected the woman's plea and observed that the victim must abide by the present law and that an abortion at this stage might also endanger her life. According to the law, it is illegal to abort a foetus if it is older than 20 weeks.

The 24-year-old was kidnapped from her home in Surat and was gangraped at gunpoint by seven persons for close to six months. She, however, managed to escape from her tormentors on March 14 this year. Of the seven accused, three have been arrested so far.

She approached a lower court in Botad town of Saurashtra region after realising that she was pregnant because of the gangrape. However, at that time she was already 24 weeks' pregnant.

She then approached the High Court for repealing the lower court's ruling, but the high court too stood by former's judgement.

The high court has directed the pregnant woman to deliver the child under the supervision of district magistrate of Bhawnagar. The DM was even ordered to ensure the child is born properly and is not abandoned after birth.

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