10-year-old pregnant! The victim (name withheld) was living the day as usual when she started feeling pains in her abdomen…
It has shocked Chandigarh and the rest of India, that of a girl of only 10 years got pregnant. The saddest and most horrible part of this news is that the little girl was raped by her own relative -her mother’s cousin. The said relative is currently in jail awaiting trial.
As expected the family of the 10-year-old pregnant girl who was scared and unprepared to handle the challenges considered the option of aborting the baby. But ‘unfortunately’ for them, they weren’t fast enough. On 28 July, India’s Supreme Court rejected a petition – filed on the girl’s behalf – to allow her to abort the unborn child.
This was on the grounds that at 32 weeks, she is too far into her pregnancy. A doctors’ panel had advised the court that a termination at this stage would be very risky for the girl. The foetus in the womb was also doing well, shattering every possible reason to support the termination.
How The Victim’s Pregnancy Was Discovered
The family of the 10-year-old got to know about her pregnancy when she complained of a pain in her lower abdomen. Her mother had taken her to the hospital after which a doctor confirmed she was pregnant. This clearly proved that he innocent girl had no idea what happened to her. Considering her chubby nature, her parents took no cognizance of the early signs of pregnancy, as well as some changes in her body until the confirmation by the doctor.
10-year-old Pregnant Girl: What Indian Law Says About Abortion
The Indian law allows terminations only up to 20 weeks under conditions that continuance of the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or to the life of the child.
Recently, the Supreme Court permitted a rape survivor to terminate her pregnancy at 24 weeks, which is beyond the permissible 20 weeks limit prescribed under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. However, in this case, the victim was up to 32 weeks gone, meaning she is forbidden from terminating the pregnancy.
In recent years there have been several petitions from child rape victims seeking authorization to terminate pregnancies after 20 weeks. In most cases, these pregnancies are discovered late because the children are not aware of their condition.
What’s Next for the Victim?
The 10-year-old’s family who are still in shock over the unfortunate condition their daughter has been put in, have made no further decisions regarding the pregnancy. The family is a poor one and have no influence in the society. Considering the earlier attempt to abort the baby, police, social workers and counsellors have been in and out of her house. The news has also attracted a parade of journalists and media representatives outside her home,
Considering the earlier attempt to abort the baby, police, social workers and counsellors have been in and out of her house. The news has also attracted a parade of journalists and media representatives outside her home,
The child has still not been told about her pregnancy. She was only told she has a big stone in her stomach and the bulge is because of that. However, she has been put on a special diet to keep her healthy and strong.
The victim has been described by sources as a happy child, a class six pupil who loves English and Mathematics. She loves to draw and equally loves her favourite cartoon shows Chhoti Anandi (Little Anandi) and Shin Chan.
Her family hopes to transcend this devastating situation.