The 10-year-old Indian girl who had a 20-week abortion after being raped is undergoing counseling at a local hospital.
The girl, only recently discovered to be pregnant, was about 20 weeks pregnant with her unborn child when she had the abortion Wednesday. Twenty weeks is the legal abortion limit in India; exceptions are allowed if the mother’s life is in danger. Earlier this week, a panel of doctors agreed that an abortion should be allowed in the young girl’s case, even if she is past the legal abortion limit, the BBC reports.
Local authorities said the girl, whose tragic case gained international attention this week, is recovering in the hospital and receiving counseling.
“The child is undergoing counseling and is talking frequently. She is stable. We have directed the hospital to shift her to a separate room for privacy. There is also a nurse to take care of her,” chairman of the Child Welfare Committee of Rohtak R.S. Sangwan told the Indian Express.
Here’s more from the Huffington Post:
The child’s alleged rapist, arrested by the police after the facts of the case came to light, worked at a plywood factory in Rohtak. He possibly took advantage of the fact that the girl could not speak properly after a fall from the roof of their house. She has problems concentrating, her mother said. An FIR under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has been filed against the accused.
The situation is deeply troubling. Earlier this week, the girl’s mother said she wants her husband, the man who allegedly raped her daughter, to be released from jail even though she said he admitted that he had raped the girl repeatedly.
“Please set my husband free. These NGOs and activists promising big things will not take care of me and my children for life. They will go within two-three days. My husband will take care of us,” the mother told The Hindustan Times.
Local authorities said the girl’s mother also requested the abortion. It is unclear what the young girl’s wishes were in the matter.
A report in The Guardian also mentioned the mother’s request to have the alleged rapist released:
“The girl’s life is destroyed but what will happen to my other children? I need to think about their future too,” the daily quoted the mother as saying from a hospital in Rohtak, a district in northern Haryana state.
India has a gruesome record on rape, with the capital New Delhi alone registering 2,199 rape cases in 2015 – an average of six a day.
A UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2014 expressed alarm over the widespread sexual abuse of children and said one in three rape victims in India was a minor.
Mirage News reports the girl’s mother discovered that she was pregnant last week, allegedly to her stepfather. When the family learned of the abuse and the young girl’s pregnancy, the stepfather was reported to authorities, the report states. The family is from Rohtak Town in Haryana, India.
The girl told authorities that her stepfather had threatened her not to tell anyone about the abuse.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 93 women are raped in India every day, and most of the victims know their perpetrators. The NCRB reports the women typically are between 18 and 30 years old (15,556) and 14 and 18 years old (8,877).
A survey of rape victims by the Elliot Institute found that, contrary to popular belief, many victims said the abortion only added to their trauma.
Amy Sobie, the editor of The Post-Abortion Review, wrote in 2010:
[A]lthough many people believe that abortion will help a woman resolve the trauma of rape more quickly, or at least keep her from being reminded of the rape throughout her pregnancy, many of the women in our survey who had abortions reported that abortion only added to and accentuated the traumatic feelings associated with sexual assault.
This is easy to understand when one considers that many women have described their abortions as being similar to a rape (and even used the term “medical rape), it is easy to see that abortion is likely to add a second trauma to the earlier trauma of sexual assault. Abortion involves an often painful intrusion into a woman’s sexual organs by a masked stranger who is invading her body. Once she is on the operating table, she loses control over her body. Even if she protests and asks the abortionist to stop, chances are she will be either ignored or told that it’s too late to stop the abortion.
The survey also found that in most incest cases, the young women said the abortion was not their choice; it was a parent or the perpetrator who made the decision and arrangements. In some cases, the young women reported being forced to abort their unborn babies against their will.