Pregnant 10-year-old rape survivor can’t have abortion, court rules


India’s Supreme Court ruled on Friday that a 10-year-old rape survivor would not be allowed to abort her 32-week-old foetus as physicians had advised against it, her lawyer said.

Indian law prohibits medical termination of pregnancies after 20 weeks except when the mother’s life is at risk.

The girl’s pregnancy was discovered recently when her parents took her to a hospital in Punjab state after she complained of pain in her stomach, NDTV news channel reported.

She was found to be 26 weeks pregnant.

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The girl has alleged that she was raped several times over seven months by her uncle, who has been arrested.

Lawyer Alakh Srivastava approached the Supreme Court on behalf of the girl’s parents after a lower court rejected their plea to allow an exception to perform an abortion.

The Supreme Court had earlier directed the state-run Legal Service Authority in the Punjabi capital Chandigarh to have a panel of experts examine the child and give its opinion.

The court said the doctors’ panel advised against an abortion as they felt the child is too far into her pregnancy, Srivastava said.

“The court also ordered that the girl is provided with the best possible medical facilities,’’ Srivastava said.

Sexual abuse of children is rampant in India, a total of 10,854 cases of child rape were reported in 2015, while activists claimed that many rape cases went unreported, in most cases the assaulter is known to the victim.

A child is defined as below 18 years in the National Crime Records Bureau data.


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