Home > Other news > Trial court seeks measures to increase awareness about abortion laws Read more: Trial court seeks measures to increase awareness about abortion laws – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Trial-court-seeks-measures-to-increase-awareness-about-abortion-laws

Trial court seeks measures to increase awareness about abortion laws Read more: Trial court seeks measures to increase awareness about abortion laws – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Trial-court-seeks-measures-to-increase-awareness-about-abortion-laws

NEW DELHI: A trial court has suggested that efforts should be made by the health ministry to increase overall awareness of the existing abortion laws and policies of the government so that doctors running illegal abortion clinics “in utter disregard of the existing laws’ can be kept at bay.

The court’s observations came while summoning a gynaecologist for allegedly performing an abortion on an unmarried date rape victim at the behest of the accused without written consent from her. The victim alleged that the accused tried to sexually assault her. The court also sought appropriate action on the part of secretary, Delhi Medical Council, principal secretary (health), Delhi government, deputy commissioner who is the competent authority under the Prenatal Determination Test Act in this regard by sending its order to raise awareness in public.

The court decided to put the woman gynaecologist on trial for illegally terminating the girl’s pregnancy after additional sessions judge Kamini Lau realized that the girl had given no written consent to the doctor for her abortion. “Any doctor carrying out an abortion in utter disregard to the intent and object laid down under the Special Legislation (Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971) must be prepared to face legal consequences,” additional sessions judge Kamini Lau said while summoning the doctor to stand trial.

Pointing out that a pregnancy can be terminated only under special circumstances as provided under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, Justice Lau said the medical fraternity too should be aware of the consequences of violating the Act. “It is desirable that efforts are made to increase the overall awareness of the existing abortion laws and policies of the government so as to come down heavily on doctors running abortion clinics in utter disregard of the existing laws,” she said.

Finding the doctor on the wrong side of the law, the court said the manner in which the doctor “twisted” the procedures to “help” the accused who had allegedly raped the victim leaves much to be desired. In its order, the court pointed out that the consent form for termination of pregnancy did not carry the signature of the victim. The judge noted that the doctor’s act of carrying out the abortion of the victim without her consent has also resulted in destruction of evidence punishable under the Indian Penal Code.

The FIR in this case was registered with the Mahendra Park police station in January this year on a complaint by the victim who alleged that she was raped over a period by the accused, who also used to blackmail her on the basis of intimate pictures taken by him on a mobile. The victim also accused him of terminating her pregnancy, though she was unwilling. The case was at the stage of recording evidence when the court came to know about the alleged violation of law by the doctor and decided to summon her as the accused in this case.

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