A 10-year-old child was continuously raped by her maternal uncle and was left pregnant. The district court of Chandigarh on Tuesday denied the girl, permission to abort the child.
The court rejected the plea on the grounds that the child was already 26 weeks pregnant. According to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act of 1971, the legal ceiling for abortions in India is 20 weeks.
The controversial decision by the court has left the doctors perplexed since cases of such young girl being pregnant are very rare and it is quite difficult for them to detect the danger to the girl due to it.
Dr. Rashmi Bagga from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, was quoted as saying that underage pregnancies are tricky because “when a menstrual cycle is missed, it is not noted by underage girls.”
Both abortion and delivery are dangerous for the girl’s life. Since the pelvic bones are not fully developed by the age of 10 in girls, as the pregnancy progresses, it could lead to further complications for the little girl. Both, vaginal delivery and a C-section, are dangerous at such a young age.
This is not the only case of this fashion that has come up. In 2015, the Supreme Court’s judgement ruled in favour of a 14-year-old rape victim, after which her 25-week pregnancy was terminated.
In May this year, another 10-year-old girl from Haryana found herself in a similar condition. Raped by her stepfather, her pregnancy was inconclusively pegged at 18 to 22 weeks when the courts decided to leave the decision of whether it was safe to abort with the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS). Doctors at PGIMS obviously decided to terminate the pregnancy.
In June, The Bombay High Court refused a Pune resident’s plea for his 26-week-pregnant minor daughter, a rape survivor, to abort her foetus.
The question in this case is, is it humanity to save the child that is not yet born or look after the girl who will die due to the consequences of the actions of vile relatives she lived with! Even if she was allowed to abort, her life is at risk. Will these cases keep coming up? for how long? What can be a solution for this?