Indian court rules in favor of child wanting abortion

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A pregnant 10-year-old girl in northern India will be allowed to have a late-term abortion, a local court announced Tuesday.

The girl, who is about five months pregnant and reports being raped repeatedly by her stepfather, appealed for a termination. Indian law does not permit abortions after 20 weeks unless doctors can prove that the mother’s life is at risk.

The decision was made after a local court accepted the recommendation of doctors at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in the state of Haryana.

The pregnancy came to light last week when the girl’s mother suspected her daughter was pregnant and took her to a doctor. The girl was reportedly often left at home during the day when her mother was at work.

The stepfather, who is also the child’s paternal uncle, was arrested and is currently in jail, according to police, who added that the abuse had been going on for years.

Child rape is extremely common in India, where it often goes unreported for fear of losing family respect. Local reports say the stepfather had warned the girl to keep quiet.

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