A 12-year-old rape survivor and her newborn son are doing well after the Supreme Court of India spared them from an abortion earlier this year.
The high court denied the Khargone area family’s request for a later-term abortion for the girl over the summer, after a panel of doctors determined it would be too dangerous.
Outlook reports the 12-year-old delivered a son Tuesday by cesarean section, and both mother and child are healthy.
“The girl delivered an infant boy weighing around 2.6 kg (about 5.7 pounds) through C-section last night. Both the girl and the infant are stable and in good health,” said Dr. Indira Gupta, gynecologist at the Khargone district hospital.
Abortions are illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy in India. However, families of young rape victims increasingly have been requesting exceptions from the high court. Women also have been petitioning the high court for permission to abort their later-term unborn babies because of fetal abnormalities.
Authorities said the 12-year-old girl allegedly was raped by her cousin, a 21-year-old engineering student. Her parents did not know about the abuse until they took her to the hospital in August, complaining of stomach pain, according to the report. There, doctors learned that the girl was more than 20 weeks pregnant.
The family petitioned the Supreme Court of India for an exception to the 20-week abortion ban, but the high court denied the request after panels of medical experts recommended against abortion, the report states.
The young man was arrested, and a DNA test will be done on the baby boy to determine if the accused is his father, the report states.
Authorities said the girl’s parents plan to raise the child.
Typically, the Indian high court’s decisions about later-term abortion petitions have been based on the physical health of the mother and/or her unborn child.
In May, it gave a 10-year-old rape victim permission to have her unborn baby aborted.
However, the court refused to give another 10-year-old rape victim permission to abort her late-term unborn baby this year, saying an abortion would not be good for the mother or the unborn baby.
In August, the high court also gave a woman permission to have a late-term abortion because her baby has a fatal condition.
The law prohibits abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. 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.
LifeNews Note: File photo.