Another case of abuse against a young woman and her unborn baby in India is making international news.
On Monday, authorities in Rajasthan’s Sikar district arrested a school director and teacher who allegedly gang-raped a student and then forced her to abort her unborn baby when she became pregnant, the Huffington Post reports.
Police said the school employees told the 18-year-old girl’s parents that she had to stay late for extra classes, and then sexually abused her.
The victim’s parents told local police that they saw their daughter’s health deteriorate rapidly and took her to the doctor. It was then that they learned that she had been sexually abused, became pregnant and was forced to abort her unborn baby, News Bytes India reports.
Police spokesperson Manglaram Ola said the young woman bled heavily after the abortion, and she currently is in the hospital. Ola said the victim is “unconscious and undergoing treatment.” Reports do not indicate how serious the young woman’s condition is.
It is unclear how long the abuse was going on, but police said the teacher and school director sexually assaulted her several times.
Police said they arrested school director Jagdish Yadav and teacher Jagat Singh Gurjar and charged them with rape and procuring an abortion without the woman’s consent. According to the report, abortionist Rajnish Sharma and his wife, Kanan, of Shahpura, also were arrested for allegedly performing the abortion illegally and destroying evidence.
Sexual abuse is rampant in India, with 20,000 cases of sexual assaults reported in 2015, according to government data reported by AFP.
Some girls as young as 10 have been raped and then pressured to abort their unborn babies. In some cases, the young girls’ lives were put at risk when their parents requested that they have late-term abortions past the country’s 20-week abortion limit.
The Supreme Court of India is expected to rule on another late-term abortion case for a young rape victim this week. The Times of India reports the 13-year-old girl from East Delhi is 22 weeks pregnant with her unborn child.
It is not clear if the girl wants the abortion or if her parents do. In another similar case, a 10-year-old rape victim was never told that she was pregnant, that her parents wanted her to have a late-term abortion, or later that she gave birth to a child. The Indian high court refused her parents’ request for a late-term abortion because of the risks to the young girl’s life. The parents made an adoption plan for the baby without their daughter’s knowledge.
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Earlier in September, the Indian Supreme Court gave a 13-year-old girl permission to abort her unborn baby at 32 weeks; however, the girl gave birth to a live baby. The baby boy died two days later, likely because his lungs were underdeveloped.
In May, the high court also 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.
Forced and coerced abortions are a problem across the world. Often in cases of sexual abuse and sex trafficking, victims are forced to abort their unborn babies by their abusers.