A ten-year-old girl who has been allegedly raped by her uncle has been told she is too young to get an abortion by an Indian court.
Chandigarh District Court told that an abortion was ‘not an option at this stage’ as she was too far into her pregnancy.
Indian law does not allow women to undergo the procedure beyond 20 weeks unless the foetus is proven to be genetically unviable or if it poses a risk to the mother’s life.
The girl told the mother about stomach pains after that the parents came to know that she is pregnant.
Chandigarh District Court ruled that the girl was too far into her pregnancy to have an abortion
She said that she had been sexually assaulted six times by her uncle when he visited their home in India
According to the Indian Express, the parents of the victim sought legal permission to have the pregnancy terminated and the uncle was arrested.
The court after taking opinion by a panel of eight doctors, who were involved in examining the child.
After their examinations the court said that the girl should give birth naturally as ‘the foetus is viable and can survive even if delivered now’.
One of the doctors told CBS News: ‘Abortion is not an option at this stage. The only way to terminate the pregnancy is to deliver the baby.’
Medical experts have said that girls at such a young age can experience complications as their pregnancy progresses and that delivery can be dangerous for both the mother and the child.
Delhi-based gynecologist Puneet Bedi told Indian news site The Quint that an abortion ‘should take place immediately’ to protect the child’s psychological well being.
She added: ‘Yes, there are risks and abortion at this stage is tough, but for the girl, who is still developing, the scars will be many.’
Another gynecologist, Umesh Jindal, from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, told the Times of India: ‘If legal permission is granted treating it as an exceptional case, it’s better to terminate the pregnancy.’
If the parents want they still have the option of taking the case to a higher court to review and potentially overturn the ruling though doctors have said this would most likely take longer than her pregnancy.