The baby of a 10-year-old rape victim in India was adopted recently after a court spared the young mother and child from the pain of an abortion.
The Express Tribune reports a couple from Maharashtra in western India adopted the 3-month-old baby girl.
“The infant has been handed over to the new parents,” social welfare department official Rajni Gupta told the BBC on Wednesday. “The parents were very happy.”
The birth mother, a 10-year-old rape survivor from Chandigarh, India, was raped by two of her uncles and became pregnant earlier this year. Both uncles were sentenced to life in prison last month, the BBC reports.
When the girl’s parents learned of the abuse, they requested a late-term abortion for their daughter. 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 girl had no knowledge of her pregnancy or the abortion request that her parents made for her. According to various news reports, her parents insisted that doctors not tell the girl that she was pregnant.
“Her doctor told CNN the girl didn’t know she was pregnant. Her parents told her that she needed surgery for a kidney stone problem, and refused to allow medical professionals to tell their child the truth, according to Harish,” CNN reported in August.
She gave birth by cesarean section on Aug. 17. Her baby girl weighed about 4.8 pounds, and spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Even now, it is not clear if the girl is aware that she had a baby or that her baby has been adopted.
Abortions are illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy in India. However, women and families increasingly have been petitioning the high court for permission to abort late-term unborn babies because of rape or fetal abnormalities.
The courts have heard a number of requests for late-term abortions from families of young rape victims in the past year. 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.
Earlier this week, a Bombay court gave permission for a 13-year-old rape victim to have an abortion at 26 weeks of pregnancy. The justices argued that the girl could suffer trauma and agony if she gave birth to the baby.
In September, the Supreme Court of India 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.
A late-term abortion also is a very risky, multiple day procedure that can kill the mother as well as her unborn baby. And at 26 weeks of pregnancy, an unborn baby likely would survive outside the womb.
Rape is an awful crime of violence committed against a woman or girl, but an abortion does not erase the violence or heal the pain. It just ends the life of a second victim of the crime, an unborn child.
Research by the Elliot Institute found that between 75 percent to 85 percent of pregnant rape victims do not have abortions. Of those who did, many felt pressured or coerced to abort their unborn babies. And in many cases, the women who had abortions felt victimized again by the invasive abortion procedure.
LifeNews Note: File photo.