India Allows Abortion for 10-year-old Girl Raped by Her Stepfather

Judith QuinnMay 18, 2017

NEW DELHI — One woman was brutally gang raped and murdered, her body left disfigured in a patch of shrubs near her home in a north Indian village.

Police have arrested the stepfather of the victim on charges of rape, authorities said.

A panel of doctors had to decide whether the girl from Rohtak in Northern India should be allowed to terminate her pregnancy after she was forced to take her case to court, the Daily Mail reports. An autopsy showed the 26-year-old woman had been gang raped before being pummeled in the face with bricks and run over by a vehicle.

The process commenced after a local court had given the go-ahead, but also directed the doctors to abide by the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act.

Police said there were no official records of the child's birth date.

The victim is almost five months pregnant and abortion is legally prohibited in the country after 20 weeks, but a medical board studied her case and eventually gave its consent on Tuesday (16 May).

Now that the girl has won the rights to abortion, the procedure will take place any time now. They will go within two-three days.

India has a gruesome record on rape, with New Delhi alone registering 2199 rape cases in 2015 - an average of six a day. After rape, many victims report that their abusers forced them to abort their unborn babies to cover up the abuse.

In 2015, the Indian high court also gave an exception to a 14-year-old rape victim who was past 20 weeks pregnant. The woman's head was smashed with a brick and a vehicle run over her before the body was dumped.

She later became known as Nirbhaya, or the "fearless one", and her case led to protests across India coupled with intense media coverage and scrutiny over the country's problem of sexual violence against women. "The victim blaming begins with the police", Kumari said.

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