A high court in India granted a request Monday to allow a viable, late-term unborn baby to be aborted past the country’s abortion limit.
The case involves an 11-year-old rape victim who is 27-weeks pregnant with her unborn baby, NDTV reports. India prohibits abortions after 20 weeks, but, the past several years, high courts frequently have been granting exceptions for situations involving rape or fetal abnormalities.
On Monday, the Madhya Pradesh High Court agreed to allow the late-term abortion after the girl’s mother petitioned the court, according to the news outlet. It is not clear if the young girl wants an abortion or understands what is happening.
The court ruling went against the recommendation of doctors who examined the girl. According to the report, a team of doctors at Jabalpur’s Government Medical College and Hospital advised against an abortion after their examination.
Late-term abortions have much higher risks for the mother than early-term abortions, and some mothers die along with their unborn babies.
The girl allegedly was raped by an uncle while under his care. Reportedly, her parents were working away from their village for months and came back to find their daughter pregnant. Authorities said the uncle threatened the girl, saying he would kill her younger brother if she told anyone about the rape.
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Police are investigating.
In the past, courts in India have refused abortion petitions when unborn babies had conditions that are not fatal, such as Down syndrome. In early 2018, a Bombay court rejected a woman’s request for an abortion at 31 weeks because doctors said it was too risky.
Then in late 2018, another Indian court granted a rape victim’s petition for a late-term abortion, despite doctors’ warnings about serious risks to the teen’s health. The Hindustan Times reported the 16-year-old rape victim and her father asked the Delhi High Court for permission to have a late-term abortion. She was 22-weeks pregnant, past the abortion cutoff.
LifeNews Note: File photo of premature baby at 27 weeks.