In a startling turn of events, the baby of a 13-year-old rape survivor who received permission to have a late-term abortion was born alive Friday in India.
The young girl from Mumbai was 32-weeks pregnant, far past the point of viability and the country’s 20-week legal abortion limit. The man who allegedly raped her, a co-worker of her father, has been arrested.
Abortions are illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy in India. However, women increasingly have been petitioning the high court for permission to abort their unborn babies after 20 weeks in cases involving fetal abnormalities or sexual assault.
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of India gave the girl permission to have a late-term abortion because of risks to her health. However, several more recent reports suggest that the court’s permission for a “termination of pregnancy” may have meant inducing preterm labor and premature birth, not killing the unborn baby. However, LifeNews has not been able to verify this.
The young girl’s baby boy was born alive Friday via cesarean section, according to The India Express. Doctors at JJ Hospital in Mumbai said the baby boy weighs 1.8 kilograms (about 4 pounds) and is in stable condition.
News World India reports the girl’s family has not decided yet whether to take the baby boy home when he is well enough or to make an adoption plan for him. It is unclear what the girl’s wishes are.
Sneha Mukherjee, a lawyer for the young teen, said the girl has been traumatized by the whole experience, and recovery will be a long process.
“It will take a lot of time for her to recover from the trauma but this comes as a big relief. Expecting a 13-year-old girl to bear a child is just unimaginable,” Mukherjee said.
News Nation reports more:
After [the Supreme Court] order allowing the minor rape victim to terminate her 32- week old pregnancy, doctors tried to abort the foetus but it was too risky for her life and they had to perform a cesarean delivery.
Earlier on Wednesday, the apex court had said, “Considering the age of the petitioner (a rape survivor), the trauma she has suffered because of sexual abuse, the agony she is going through and the opinion of the medical board favouring termination of pregnancy, the termination of pregnancy should be allowed.”
However, the doctors had suggested that the abortion should take place after two weeks as they wanted foetus to grow further but the court ordered an immediate termination as the girl was going through severe trauma.
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The 13-year-old girl’s parents said they were not aware of the abuse or their young daughter’s pregnancy until about a month ago. They said they took her to the doctor because she was rapidly gaining weight, and they thought she was having problems with her thyroid.
Gynecologist Dr Nikhil Datar told the BBC: “She was brought to me by her parents on 9 August. They suspected she had a thyroid problem or some other medical condition because she was gaining weight. The scan showed that she was 27 weeks pregnant so I informed the police.”
Datar said the young girl understands that she is pregnant, though she does not comprehend the full impact of her condition. Datar recommended a late-term abortion, arguing that the girl’s pelvis is not fully developed and childbirth could cause her physical and mental trauma.
A late-term abortion is a very risky, multiple day procedure that can kill the mother as well as her unborn baby. On the first day, the abortionist typically injects a poison into the unborn baby’s heart or head to kill them. They also begin to dilate the mother’s cervix to prepare for childbirth. On the third or fourth day, they induce labor and the mother gives birth to her dead baby.
For this reason, the Supreme Court of India rejected another family’s request for a late-term abortion earlier this summer. In that case, the 10-year-old girl’s parents requested the late-term abortion without their daughter’s knowledge; the Supreme Court of India rejected their petition after medical examiners determined that the abortion could endanger the 10-year-old girl’s life.
The 10-year-old delivered her child via cesarean section on Aug. 17, according to the local news. 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.
LifeNews Note: File photo.