Conflict & Justice

A 10-year-old rape victim in India has given birth


India has a grim record of sexual assaults. According to government data, 20,000 cases of rape or sexual assaults were reported in 2015. Pictured here, a Catholic nun from the Missionaries of Charity, the global order of nuns founded by Mother Teresa, signs a banner during a rally to show solidarity with a nun who was raped during an armed assault on a convent school, in Kolkata.


Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

A 10-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has given birth to a baby girl, a doctor said Thursday. A plea by her parents for an abortion was rejected by India's Supreme Court.

The girl was raped several times allegedly by an uncle who has since been arrested.

Last month her parents asked the country's top court to allow her to have a late-term abortion but the request was turned down.

Indian law does not allow medical terminations after 20 weeks unless there is a threat to either the life of the mother or her child.

According to the BBC, in recent years, courts in India "have received several petitions, many from child rape survivors, seeking to terminate pregnancies after 20 weeks. In most cases, these pregnancies are discovered late because the children themselves are not aware of their condition."

"She gave birth through C-section today (Thursday). Both the girl and her baby are doing fine," doctor Dasari Harish told AFP by phone from the northern Indian city of Chandigarh.

"The surgery was uneventful. There were no complications whatsoever. The baby weighed 2.2 kilos (4.8 pounds) and is in the neonatal ICU for now."

The Press Trust of India news agency said the girl was unaware that she had delivered a child and the parents had decided to put the baby up for adoption.

Her parents have told her that she had a stone in her stomach and had undergone surgery to remove it, PTI said.

India has a grim record of sexual assaults on minors with 20,000 cases of rape or sexual assaults reported in 2015, according to government data.