A young rape survivor in India may abort her unborn baby in a late-term abortion, a court ruled Monday.
The Times of India reports a Surat local court granted the 15-year-old girl an exception to the country’s 20-week abortion limit. The girl is just over 20 weeks pregnant with her unborn baby.
The court also ordered that DNA samples from her aborted baby be taken as evidence in the criminal case.
According to Puna Police, the girl did not tell her parents that she had been raped until she began suffering from health problems. When they took her to the doctor, they learned that she was pregnant, and the doctor reported the sexual assault to authorities, according to the report.
Police said the teen was raped by a 25-year-old man, allegedly Kuldeep Yadav. According to police, Yadav is facing sexual assault charges.
Abortions are legal up to 20 weeks throughout India. Lately, however, courts have been granting a large number of exceptions for late-term abortions if the unborn baby has a disability or the mother is a victim of rape.
Earlier this month, the Bombay High Court allowed another young rape survivor to abort her unborn baby at 23 weeks of pregnancy.
An abortion, especially a late-term abortion, can be risky for the mother as well as her unborn baby. However, in January, the Union Cabinet of India, which is led by the prime minister, advanced a bill that would legalize abortions for any reason up to 24 weeks in India.
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Expanding late-term abortions could further jeopardize women’s rights in India, where women already are abused and oppressed at an alarming rate. Though illegal, sex-selection abortions are a huge problem, and baby girls are frequently the targets. In 2018, the Government of India estimated that 63 million women are missing from its population due to sex-selection abortions, infanticide and other discriminatory violence.
India has some of the highest abortion numbers in the world. Approximately 15.6 million unborn babies were aborted in the country in 2015, according to the Guttmacher Institute. If the bill passes parliament, the country could see even more destruction of innocent lives.
The following picture shows an unborn baby at 20 weeks.