In­dia al­lows abor­tion for 10-year-old rape vic­tim

New Straits Times - - News -

NEW DELHI: A 10-year-old girl who was raped will be al­lowed to have an abor­tion even though she has crossed the 20-week limit for ter­mi­na­tions in In­dia, po­lice said yes­ter­day.

The child has said she was re­peat­edly raped by her step­fa­ther, who has since been ar­rested.

Her case only came to light last week, by which time she had crossed the 20-week le­gal limit, af­ter which ter­mi­na­tions are only al­lowed where there is a dan­ger to the mother or baby’s life.

“The court had asked the med­i­cal board to take a call and doc­tors have de­cided to go ahead with the abor­tion,” said Garima Devi, the po­lice investigation of­fi­cer as­signed to the case.

“The board has not said when they are plan­ning it (abor­tion) but it will be any time soon.”

In re­cent months, In­dia’s top court has re­ceived pe­ti­tions from women, in­clud­ing rape sur­vivors and traf­fick­ing vic­tims, seek­ing abor­tions where preg­nan­cies had gone beyond 20 weeks.

Ac­tivists say the re­stric­tion should be ex­tended to 24 weeks as vic­tims of rape are of­ten late to re­port their preg­nan­cies.

The In­dian Ex­press said the vic­tim’s mother wanted the ac­cused to be set free as he had apol­o­gised, and that she had other chil­dren to take care of.

“The girl’s life is de­stroyed but what will hap­pen to my other chil­dren? I need to think about their fu­ture, too,” the mother was quoted as say­ing from a hospi­tal in Ro­htak, a dis­trict in Haryana state.

In­dia has a gruesome record on rape, with the cap­i­tal here alone reg­is­ter­ing 2,199 cases in 2015 — an av­er­age of six a day. AFP

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