A 10-year-old Indian girl and her newborn child are in stable condition at a Chandigarh hospital this week after the country’s highest court protected them from abortion.
The 10-year-old, a rape survivor, delivered her child via cesarean section early Thursday in northern India, according to the local news. The baby weighed 2.2 kilograms (about 4.8 pounds) at birth and was moved to the neonatal intensive care unit, said Dr. Dasari Harish, who is overseeing their care.
The girl’s parents requested a late-term abortion for their daughter earlier this summer, but the Supreme Court of India rejected their petition after medical examiners determined that the abortion could endanger the 10-year-old girl’s life. It also appears that the girl had no knowledge of the abortion request that her parents made for her.
Abortions are illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy in India. However, women increasingly have been petitioning the high court for permission to abort their late-term unborn babies because of fetal abnormalities. Some families of young rape victims also have made requests to the high court.
Alakh Alok Srivastava, a lawyer for the girl’s family, told CNN that the girl’s parents are making an adoption plan for the baby. Reports do not say if the baby is a boy or girl.
New information from reports indicates the parents and doctors have hidden the truth from the girl, and she does not know about her baby or the adoption plan. This means she most likely had no idea about her parents’ petition for her to have an abortion either.
“Her doctor told CNN the girl didn’t know she was pregnant. Her parents told her that she needed surgery for a kidney stone problem, and refused to allow medical professionals to tell their child the truth, according to Harish,” the report states.
PRO-LIFE COLLEGE STUDENT? LifeNews is looking for interns interested in writing, social media, or video creation. Contact us today.
The family said they are worried about societal pressure and stigma.
“The [girl’s] father was saying he wasn’t willing to carry the newborn baby, not even for a minute,” Srivastava said.
The 10-year-old girl from Chandigarh, India allegedly was raped by her maternal uncle on multiple occasions and became pregnant, according to the report.
The girl’s mother said she found out about the abuse and pregnancy when her daughter began to complain about stomach pain. Her family then requested permission for the young girl to have an abortion when she was six months pregnant.
Local police report the uncle who allegedly raped the girl, Kul Bahadur, has been arrested, the Tribune India reports. Sexual abuse is a huge problem in India, with 20,000 cases of sexual assaults reported in 2015, according to government data reported by AFP.
In May, a very similar case appeared before the India Supreme Court. The high court granted permission for a 10-year-old rape victim to have a late-term abortion when she was about 20 weeks pregnant. In that case, the girl’s stepfather allegedly raped her.
Dr. Ashok Chauhan, a panelist in the case, described the situation as “borderline” because the girl was approximately 20 weeks pregnant, the legal abortion limit. The panel also mentioned concerns about the young girl’s physical and mental health.
Similarly, in 2015, the India Supreme Court also gave an exception to a 14-year-old rape victim who was past 20 weeks pregnant. At the time, the BBC reported a team of doctors decided the girl was not physically or emotionally fit to give birth to her baby.
As LifeNews previously reported, the first judge involved in the case, Abhilasha Kumari, ruled differently. He said it was a difficult decision but concluded that the unborn baby is innocent just like the victim.
Kumari 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.”
However, the India Supreme Court overturned his ruling in 2015 and allowed the unborn baby to be aborted.
At 20 weeks, an unborn baby already is fully formed and close to the point of viability (about 23 weeks). Late-term abortions also are risky and can be deadly for the mother as well as her unborn child.
LifeNews Note: File photo.