Another young victim of rape and her unborn baby will fall victim to a late-term abortion after the Supreme Court of India granted an exception to the country’s 20-week abortion limit Wednesday.
NDTV reports the 17-year-old girl from Bengaluru is 24 weeks pregnant with her unborn child. Details are scarce, but reports indicate the girl became pregnant after a sexual assault.
Abortions are illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy in India. However, women or their families increasingly have been petitioning the high court for permission to abort their unborn babies after the limit, especially in cases involving fetal abnormalities or sexual assault.
At 24 weeks, the teen’s unborn baby has reached the point of viability and likely would survive outside the womb if she gave birth. However, a medical board at the Bangalore Medical College and Research Centre recommended that she have an abortion, according to the report.
The high court gave her permission Wednesday after a lower court rejected the request, India Legal reports.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of India also gave a 13-year-old rape victim permission to have a late-term abortion because of risks to her health. However, the young teen gave birth instead. The baby boy, who was born prematurely, died of respiratory problems several days later.
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.