A 10-year-old rape victim who was denied an abortion by India’s top court has given birth to a baby girl, a doctor told the AFP news agency Thursday.
The girl, who was 35 weeks pregnant, gave birth by cesarean section to a premature baby weighting 4.8 pounds, doctor Dasari Harish told AFP from the northern city of Chandigarh. Harish said mother and baby were “doing fine” and that the infant was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit.
The Press Trust of India news agency reported that the girl did not know she had given birth and that her parents were putting her child up for adoption. They told the girl the operation was to remove a stone in her stomach, the agency reported.
The girl, who cannot be identified, was raped repeatedly by an uncle, local media reported. Her pregnancy was discovered when she was taken to a hospital with stomach pains, according to the Hindustan Times newspaper. The uncle has been arrested, according to media reports.
Last month, India’s Supreme Court refused a request from the girl’s parents to allow her to have an abortion because of the risk to her life — medical terminations are only allowed after 20 weeks if the mother or baby’s life is in danger.
“In view of the recommendation made by medical board, we are satisfied it would not be in the interest of girl and neither to fetus who is 32 weeks old. We decline to terminate pregnancy,” the Supreme Court said, according to the Hindustan Times.
Sexual violence in India garnered global attention in 2012 when the gang rape of a 23-year-old student on a bus in New Delhi sparked widespread protests in the country.
Government figures show there were 20,000 incidents of rape or sexual assault on minors recorded by authorities in India in 2015.