10-year-old rape victim gives birth

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India's Supreme Court refused the plea for an abortion. Wiki Commons CC BY-SA

MUMBAI  (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A 10-year-old rape victim who was denied an abortion by India’s top court gave birth yesterday in a case that has drawn outrage about the sexual abuse of children.

The girl did not know she was pregnant and was unaware she had delivered a baby; her parents told their daughter she was undergoing stomach surgery to remove a stone.

“The girl is doing fine, she is recovering. We expect she will be discharged early next week,” said Dasari Harish, who heads a committee overseeing the girl’s care.

The girl, whose identity has been kept secret, delivered a girl by Caesarean section in a state hospital in the northwestern city of Chandigarh, said Harish, who is a hospital physician.

“The parents of the girl have refused to take custody of the child, and have agreed to her adoption through the state agency. They said they don’t even want to see the child,” he said.

Local media reports said the girl had been raped by an uncle and that he was now under arrest.

The pregnancy was discovered when the child was taken to the hospital last month after complaining of stomach pains, and was found to be about 30 weeks pregnant.

A local court refused to grant the child an abortion, saying it was too risky at such a late stage. A plea in the Supreme Court was dismissed for the same reason on July 28.

Indian law prohibits terminations at more than 20 weeks unless the mother’s life is in danger or in exceptional circumstances.

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