Ten-year-old raped by stepfather granted late abortion

Jeannette Daniel
May 18, 2017

The report also said the girl is often left home alone whenever her mother goes to work.

The victim from Rohtak was repeatedly raped by her stepfather and is now five-months pregnant.

The doctors took the decision on Tuesday after a local court gave them only two options of either considering the age of the fetus to be less than 20 weeks and going ahead with the abortion or waiting for the pregnancy to get completed if the fetus had crossed the 20 week cap.

The BBC, quoting Unicef and government sources, said a child under 16 is raped every 155 minutes in India, while a child under 10 is raped every 13 hours.

A medical board advised the court that the child's life had not been jeopardised by the pregnancy, normally a key condition for terminations after the 20-week limit.

"The lackadaisical approach" by police and other Indian authorities "emboldens men to commit crimes against women", said Ranjana Kumari, who has been fighting for women's rights for several decades.

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A plea to abort the unwanted foetus was made by the girl's mother at the court, for it might have outgrown the 20-week legal ceiling for termination of pregnancy.

The police have urged the girl to come forward as they could not locate her at the address mentioned in the letter. The girl is in a Rohtak hospital in the northern state of Haryana, 65km from New Delhi.

"The girl's life is destroyed but what will happen to my other children?" After rape, many victims report that their abusers forced them to abort their unborn babies to cover up the abuse.

She later became known as Nirbhaya, or the "fearless one", and her case led to protests across India coupled with intense media coverage and scrutiny over the country's problem of sexual violence against women.

Kumari said: "Whatever be the circumstances in which the child was conceived, whatever the trauma of the young mother, the fact remains that the child is also not to blame for being conceived".

Other reports by My Hot News

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