For a 10-Year-Old Pregnant by Rape, a 2nd Trauma

Victim had to fight for right to abort
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2017 11:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – India has dealt with a series of high-profile rape cases, and the latest is a particularly thorny one: It involves a 10-year-old who is now pregnant. The New York Times reports the child is more than 20 weeks along after being "repeatedly raped by her stepfather over a period of time," per police. Last Wednesday, the girl's mother phoned a tip line for help. But after experiencing trauma so severe one of the doctors who examined her found the girl "not able to speak properly," she faced a second hurdle: obtaining permission to abort. The Hindustan Times reports that under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, abortion is only permitted after the 20-week mark in cases where the mother's life is endangered. The act was established to tamp down on the aborting of female fetuses in the country.

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The medical board that examined the girl determined "both the situations—abortion at present and delivery—could be equally dangerous" for the child, who lives in the Rohtak district in Haryana state, so they pushed the decision-making onto a court. The local court on Tuesday OK'd the abortion, reports the BBC, and the procedure will take place "anytime now." As far as child sexual abuse goes, India is a hotbed of it: About 13 children under the age of 10 are raped there each week, with the BBC citing a government study that found slightly more than 50% of children surveyed had experienced some type of sex abuse. The girl's stepfather, who is said to be in his 20s, has been arrested. Two other grisly rapes were reported in the country in the last week. (Read more India stories.)

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