India: After 14-Year-Old Raped, Supreme Court Fails to Protect Baby From Abortion

International   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Aug 1, 2015   |   5:04PM   |   New Delhi, India

In India, a 14-year-old rape victim will undergo a late-term abortion now that their Supreme Court has overturned previous rulings preventing her from having the procedure. The BBC reports that a team of doctors decided she is not fit to have a baby physically or emotionally. The medical chief of Ahmedabad’s civil hospital, M. M. Prabhakar, explained, “The girl is not physically fit and her mental condition is also not stable. She was found to have suicidal tendencies. Therefore it has been decided to abort the foetus.”

This ruling is significant because the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act bans abortion in India after 20-weeks and earlier abortions are only permitted for health reasons or if there is a possibility of the child being born with physical or mental abnormalities.

As LifeNews previously reported, the first judge involved in the case, Abhilasha Kumari, said it was a difficult decision but concluded that the unborn baby is innocent just like the victim. He said, “Whatever be the circumstances in which the child was conceived, whatever the trauma of the young mother, the fact remains that the child is also not to blame for being conceived. It did not ask to be born. The child is innocent, just like the victim, its mother.”

The girl’s attorney, Pradip Bhate, was disappointed in the judge’s decision. He said, “The father of the victim is a laborer and does not have enough resources to take care of the child to be born. The parents are yet to decide if they want to approach higher forum.” However, the judge did order the government to take care of the girl and her family financially.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 93 women are being raped in India every day and most of these victims know their perpetrators. The NCRB also reports that the women are aged between 18 and 30 years (15,556) and 14 and 18 years (8,877). Then, after rape, many of these girls are forced to abort in order to cover up the crimes of their attackers.



For example, in February a teenage girl died after being forced to consume an abortifacient drug by a man named Monu. The Times of India reported that he had been sexually abusing her and she became pregnant. An unnamed police officer said the following about the girl’s death: “When Monu learnt that the girl had become pregnant, he allegedly started forcing her to undergo an abortion. On Friday, Monu compelled her to consume a pill that would cause an abortion. Soon after consuming the pill, the girl’s condition deteriorated and she collapsed. Monu abandoned her at the spot and fled.”

Later, she was spotted by locals who informed her parents, who rushed her to a nearby Community Health Centre from where she was later referred to Lala Lajpat Rai hospital. She died in the hospital on Sunday night during treatment.”