Ten-year-old rape victim delivers baby in India

Refused abortion by the Supreme Court, child repeatedly raped by uncle gives birth by Caesarean section.

Vigil for India gang rape victim 2012
The case has drawn outrage about the sexual abuse of children in India [File: AP]

A 10-year-old sexual abuse victim in India whose abortion plea was turned down by the country’s Supreme Court has delivered a baby.

The child, who was repeatedly raped, had a Caesarean section on Thursday.

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.

READ MORE: Police say Indian girls aged five and two raped in New Delhi

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

The minor, whose identity has been kept secret, delivered a baby girl in a state hospital in the northwestern city of Chandigarh, Harish said.

The girl was repeatedly raped by her uncle over seven months.

Almost 11,000 rape cases in 2015

The crime came to light when the girl was taken to hospital complaining of a stomach ache last month and was found to be around 30 weeks – or around seven months – into the pregnancy. Her uncle was arrested shortly afterwards.

“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,” Harish told Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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.

An increasing number of such cases have come to the courts in recent years.

In May, a court allowed another 10-year-old girl allegedly raped by her stepfather to undergo an abortion.

As many as 10,854 cases of child rape were reported in India in 2015, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.

Activists say that awareness of, and reporting of, sexual violence against women has risen since a fatal gang rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi in 2012, which sparked nationwide protests and a tightening of the law.

But sexual violence against children remains a taboo topic, with most cases going unreported.

Source: News Agencies