A young Indian rape victim and her unborn baby have been spared from the pain of an abortion.
Telangana Today reports the 15-year-old girl’s parents took her to Gandhi Hospital near their home in Hyderabad, India to have an abortion earlier this week, but the doctors refused to abort her unborn baby.
According to the report, the doctors informed Jawaharnagar police when they learned that the girl was a minor and had been sexually assaulted.
“We came to know about the incident when the hospital staff alerted us,” police inspector T.S. Uma Maheshwara Rao said.
On Tuesday, police said they charged a 19-year-old man from Kowkoor Village with sexually assaulting the teen.
Doctors said the teen is about three months pregnant, and she is being kept under medical observation.
It is unclear exactly why the doctors refused to abort the teen’s unborn baby. It is possible that the teen’s parents wanted her to have an abortion, but she did not.
Abortions are legal up to 20 weeks in India. However, women or their families increasingly have been petitioning the Supreme Court of India for permission to abort their unborn babies after the limit, especially in cases involving fetal abnormalities or sexual assault.
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. The high court has heard a number of requests for late-term abortions from families of young rape victims in the past few months.
Earlier in September, the Supreme Court of India 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 September, the high court also allowed a 17-year-old rape survivor to abort her unborn baby past the 20-week limit. In that case, a medical board at the Bangalore Medical College and Research Centre recommended that she have an abortion for health reasons.
In May, 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, allegedly by her stepfather.