This has reference to my earlier post on the subject. Finally, what I guessed turned out to be right. The Court allowed the girl to continue with her pregnancy. A strong argument that "She is already 20 weeks pregnant and termination could cause damage to her health and further deteriorate her mental state" was successfully used.
Another argument "why should poor women, who are found lacking in bringing up their children should be allowed to have babies? if this girl with mental retardation is to be disallowed the motherhood only on this ground that she can not bring her up" was also used.
The life won and won the motherhood! UNCRPD, right to life, Right to motherhood, and social support were all discussed. The arguments were touching and Supreme Court gave in! Congratulations to life and pro-life and pro-right activists and so to the concerned pro-abortion activists as this much publicised matter would eventually provide some support structures to the girl and her coming baby!
Raped mentally challenged girl can continue pregnancy: SC
Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN 21 July 2009, 03:54pm IST
The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed a mentally challenged orphan girl who was raped at a Nari Niketan in Chandigarh to continue her pregnancy resulting from the sexual assault. The apex court was initially reluctant to interfere with a Punjab and Haryana High Court order directing medical termination of the pregnancy. But it changed its mind after counsel Tanu Bedi crafted her arguments based both on law and emotional grounds.
When the CJI expressed concern as to who would take care of the baby and what would be the health of the newborn, more so since the girl had no one to look after her, Bedi in her 40-minute long monologue repeatedly put these questions to the court — "Why would a girl, even if mentally retarded, be deprived of motherhood which is her right? If her mental age was a consideration for the judiciary to think that she could not take care of her baby, why should poor women, who are found lacking in bringing up their children, be allowed to become mothers?"
She said medical termination of pregnancy could not be done under law without the consent of the mother. "And here is a case where the girl wants to keep her pregnancy. She has no blood relation in the world. Should we not help her to get her first blood relation in the baby she is carrying now," Bedi asked. The arguments not only touched the Bench but every one present in the court as Bedi went on, "She is already 20 weeks pregnant and termination could cause damage to her health and further deteriorate her mental state."
If the Bench was worried about the future of the baby and whether the girl, with a mental age akin to that of a 9-year-old, could take the strain of motherhood, it was supported by senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, who appearing for a social activist cited medical reports that cast doubt on her ability to handle motherhood.