A pregnant 10-year-old in India – allegedly raped by her mother’s cousin several times – has been denied an abortion leaving her family heartbroken. On July 28, India’s Supreme Court rejected the petition filed on the victim’s behalf which would allow her to terminate the pregnancy.
The court said that time that a termination would be “too risky” because she’s already 32 weeks pregnant. India’s Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act doesn’t permit abortions after 20 weeks unless the termination is necessary to save the woman’s life. However, many families of child rape survivors air their objections because childhood pregnancies are commonly discovered late.
“She’s very innocent and has no idea what’s happened to her,” a source close to the rape victim told BBC. The pregnancy was discovered just three weeks ago after she complained of abdominal pain. The parents never imagined that their child, a class six student, could be pregnant at such young age.
The family is waiting for the right time to explain to her what is happening. They fear that she might not understand how serious the situation is. What she knows so far is that there’s a large stone inside her stomach. According to the news outlet, the girl is enjoying how her parents currently dote on her.
Policewoman Pratibha Kumari told the website that the girl’s mother would often cry and that the father “feels like his daughter has been murdered.” Kumari described them as a “very nice family” that they didn’t immediately realize what the alleged rapist was doing to their child.
“He should get the death penalty or be locked away for the rest of his life in prison,” the father reportedly said.
On top of their grief, policemen, social workers, and reporters have been visiting the family’s flat over the last few weeks. Both parents, a government employee and a domestic helper, are worried about the unwanted publicity. They think that their daughter’s case is being turned into a “business enterprise.”
While laws forbid reporters to reveal the names of child rape victims, their neighbors and colleagues were able to piece the puzzles because the alleged rapist’s identity was extensively publicized by the Indian press. The family is terrified of the stigma their daughter might face when she grows up.
They are worried as well because the girl has a delicate heart condition. Even if her doctors claim that a plugged hole in the heart won’t affect her pregnancy, no one can rule out the fact that she’s still too young to give birth.
Insiders say that she will give birth by Cesarean section next month. Her parents declared that they have nothing to do with the newborn. He or she will be taken instead by the child welfare committee and be put up for adoption later on.
[Featured Image by Shutterstock]