An Indian court granted permission for a viable, late-term unborn baby to be aborted Monday, arguing that the mother could suffer emotionally if she gives birth to a live child.
Mirror Now Digital reports the Delhi High Court made an exception to India’s 24-week abortion ban in the 16-year-old rape victim’s case. The girl is 28-weeks pregnant, meaning her baby is capable of surviving outside the womb.
The court based its decision on a recommendation from the AIIMS Medical Board. According to the report, the medical panel told the court that the girl’s life could be at risk if she continues the pregnancy and her unborn baby may have physical or mental disabilities.
In its ruling, the court argued that, because of her age and the abuse, the teen also could suffer emotionally if she gives birth and raises the child. It instructed the abortionist to preserve the aborted baby’s body for DNA testing related to criminal charges against the rapist, the report states.
India allows unborn babies to be aborted for basically any reason up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. In recent years, however, the Asian country’s courts have been granting numerous exceptions to the law for victims of rape and mothers of unborn babies with disabilities.
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However, doctors confirm that late-term abortions are never necessary to save a mother’s life. In a late-term abortion, the mother still has to go through labor and delivery. The only real difference from childbirth is that her unborn baby is killed first.
A late-term abortion typically involves injecting a poisonous potassium chloride solution through the woman’s stomach into the baby’s heart, causing excruciating pain to the baby as the poison stops his/her heart. A few days later, labor is induced and the woman delivers her dead baby’s body.
If, in the current case, the teen’s life is at risk, doctors can induce labor and care for both the mother and her premature baby. They do not have to kill the unborn baby to save her life.
At 28 weeks, an unborn baby is viable outside the womb; premature babies have survived as early as 21 weeks of pregnancy. Late-term abortions also can be dangerous for mothers, and some women have died along with their unborn babies.
Abortions can be traumatic and mentally damaging to sexual abuse victims, too. A survey by the Elliot Institute of women who had abortions after becoming pregnant by rape or incest found that the abortion only added to their trauma.
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.