10-year-old rape victim who was denied abortion in India gives birth to baby girl

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A 10-year-old rape victim who was denied an abortion in a controversial court ruling has given birth to a baby girl.

The young girl was allegedly raped by her uncle and her pregancy was discovered at 30 weeks, when she began complaining of stomach ache.

But India’s Supreme Court refused to allow her an abortion because she was too far along in her pregnancy and they deemed it unsafe.

On Friday, the BBC reported that she had delivered a baby by c-section, weighing 5.5lb, and both mother and daughter were doing fine.

According to reports, the girl was never told she was pregnant and is not aware that a baby has been delivered.

She was informed her pregnancy bump was a “stone” in her stomach. 

Protest: Activists from All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) during protest demanding a probe into rapes (Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters)

The girl’s parents – a government employer and a cleaner – took her to hospital after she complained of feeling unwell.

Doctors discovered she was 30 weeks pregnant and her uncle was arrested after the girl claimed he had raped her several times in the last seven months. 

A lower court turned down her pleas for an abortion as the law India sets the limit at 20 weeks.

But Lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava had filed a petition to the Supreme Court saying doctors who had already examined the girl deemed both mother and baby at “very serious risk” because the girl’s age meant her pelvic bones had not fully developed.

“Medical experts have categorically opined that if the 10-year-old is forced to give birth, either through normal delivery or even through caesarean-section, it may be fatal to the life of the rape survivor as well as to her child,” the petition said.

Judges in court asked their own doctors to examine the girl and ruled that a termination would “not [be] good for the girl”. They did not reveal any further details about the girl’s condition.

They requested the girl is cared for at the state-run Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research hospital in Chandigarh.

Senior judges also suggested the government launches a specific medical board in each state which would make prompt ruling in such cases.

Indian courts receive many petition from girls requesting an abortion after the 20 week period is over.

Many of the girls, who are victims of child rape, do not realise they are pregnant until after 20 weeks because they do not recognise the symptoms. 

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