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Rajasthan HC allows sex worker to terminate her pregnancy

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The Rajasthan High Court on Thursday directed Superintendent of Umaid Hospital, Jodhpur to carry out medical termination of pregnancy of a sex worker within 3 days who was forced into prostitution by her family members after her parents died.

Justice Dinesh Mehta directed to carry out the termination of pregnancy after a women had filed a petition claiming that she was forced into prostitution by her family members after the death of her mother and father.

The petitioner in person said, “…she has been forced in fornication by Jannat Bano against her wishes.  She also adds that a year ago she had conceived and the termination of pregnancy was facilitated and financed by Jannat Bano…this time, she has not even permitted the petitioner to get ridof her pregnancy-she wants the petitioner to deliver the baby sothat he/she can either be used or sold for money.”

The petitioner also pleaded before the court that “…she wants to get rid of the sex racket and lead a respectable life…”

Mr. Pankaj Sharma, AAG submitted a medical report prepared by 3 doctors including gynecologists that revealed that the age of the fetus is 17 weeks and 3 days and there is no additional risk involved other than the usual risk.

The Court during the hearing observed that “The petitioner’s prayer has to be examined from the perspective of the child in womb too, who is also a living organ. The prospective child in the womb has no say in the present proceedings, this Court has, therefore, to substitute itself as parent – the parens patriae and do a balancing exercise”

“if the child in womb is allowed to be born, his/her mental agony will be no less. He/she will always be reminded of petitioner’s past and the fact that his/her paternity is not known, will continue to throb his/her heart and hammer his/her mind and soul” the Court Said.

Whereas, the Court directed the Superintendent of Umaid Hospital, Jodhpur to ensure/carry out medical termination of petitioner’s pregnancy by at least two Medical Practitioners, within a period of three days from today.

However, the Court also added that this may not be treated as precedent laying down an absolute law, that every woman engaged in prostitution has an inviolable right to get her pregnancy terminated. In this case it has been directed so because it was necessary to treat petitioner’s mental agony to be equal to that of victim of rape, is peculiar to this case.

-India Legal Bureau

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