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17.8.17

Raped 10-year-old Indian girl, denied abortion, delivers baby

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Raped 10-year-old Indian girl, denied abortion, delivers baby
A 10-year-old girl in India who became pregnant after being repeatedly raped, but whose abortion plea was turned down by the country's Supreme Court, delivered her baby by Caesarean section on Thursday.

Both the minor and the baby girl were safe at the state-run hospital in the northern city of Chandigarh, according to Dasari Harish, chairman of the committee that was set up to treat and take care of the girl.
"The girl is stable. The infant has been admitted to the neo-natal intensive care unit and it [she] will be able to recover," he said by phone from Chandigarh.

Local media reports said the girl was unaware she had delivered a child and her parents had told her she was operated on because of a stomach problem.

"It was a high-risk pregnancy and a team of experts comprising obstetricians, gynaecologists, neonatologists and anaesthetists oversaw the delivery," he said.

"We think it's the first case of its kind in the country. We did our utmost to ensure the safety and the health of the girl and the baby," he added.

The girl was repeatedly raped by her uncle over several months. The crime came to light when the girl was taken to hospital complaining of stomach ache last month, and was found to be around 30 weeks into the pregnancy. Her uncle was arrested shortly afterwards.

Indian law prohibits medical termination of pregnancies after 20 weeks except when the mother’s life is at risk. Lawyers had approached the Supreme Court on behalf of her parents but the judges refused their plea to allow an exception.

The court dismissed the plea after taking note of a medical report that abortion was neither good for the girl nor for the foetus. The doctors’ panel had advised against the abortion as they felt the child was too far into her pregnancy.

Sexual abuse of children is rampant in India. A total of 10,854 cases of child rape were reported in 2015. Activists say that many more cases likely went unreported. (DPA)

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