In India, a 10-year-old girl who was allegedly raped several times and impregnated by her uncle will be forced to carry her pregnancy to term after a court ruled that her pregnancy was too advanced for her to undergo an abortion. The girl, who is six months pregnant, was told by a district court in Chandigarh on Tuesday that the decision had been informed by a panel of doctors at the city’s Government Medical College and Hospital that reviewed her case. The doctors concluded that the fetus was already viable, according to CBS News.
Abortion was “not an option at this stage,” a senior doctor reportedly told CBS News.
Speaking to The Washington Post on Wednesday, the hospital’s superintendent said that “if you abort then the risk to life is greater.”
According to The Indian Express, the girl’s parents discovered the pregnancy late after she began suffering from stomach pain. The girl later said that she’d been raped multiple times by her uncle when he came to visit the family. After police arrested the uncle, the parents asked the court to grant their daughter the right to an abortion. In a similar case earlier in India this year, a 10-year-old girl who was allegedly raped and impregnated by her stepfather was allowed by a court to have an abortion 21 weeks into her pregnancy. In India, all abortions beyond 20 weeks are banned, although exceptions can be made if the fetus is unviable or if the mother’s life is at risk.
Not all doctors agreed with the court’s decision to not allow the girl to have an abortion, despite the late stage of her pregnancy. And of those who disagreed, many did so vehemently.
“An abortion needs to be done immediately,” Puneet Bedi, a Delhi-based gynecologist, told the Quint. “Yes, there are risks and abortion at this stage is tough, but for the girl who is still developing, the scars will be many.”
The physical and psychological risks of someone so young giving birth, he added, far outweighed the risks of having an abortion at such a late stage.
Read the full story at The Washington Post.