CHANDIGARH: A 10-year-old girl who became pregnant after she was raped in India has given birth. The girl, who was refused the right to have an abortion by India’s Supreme Court, is in stable condition, according to reports.
She is unaware that she was pregnant or that she has now had a child, with her parents explaining the operation by telling her she needed an operation for a stone in her stomach. The operation took place in the northern city of Chandigarh at 9.22am local time (3.52am British time) Thursday morning.
“The minor girl delivered a baby through C-section this morning. The infant’s weight is 2.2 kg and it has been admitted to neo natal ICU. As far as the girl is concerned, she is stable and will be kept in a separate room,” Dr Dasari Harish, who is in charge of her treatment.
The girl’s pregnancy came to light after she complained of a stomach ache and was found to be 30 weeks pregnant. She had been repeatedly raped, allegedly by her uncle, who has been arrested. Abortion is legal in India up to 20 weeks, but by the time the girl’s pregnancy was discovered and an application was made to terminate it, the Chandigarh district court ruled on 18 July that it was too late.
The case reached the Supreme Court, where it was ultimately rejected. Dr Dasari said the C-section was “uneventful” despite the “high-risk pregnancy” and added that doctors hope the underweight infant will recover. The girl remains unidentified, but reports in Indian media said she is a “happy child” who is shy, enjoys studying English and maths and loves to draw.
A child under 16 is raped every 155 minutes in India, according to Unicef statistics. A 12-year-old in Chandigarh was raped on her way back from school after attending an event for Indian independence day earlier this week.