A 10-year-old rape victim in India, who was denied permission to have an abortion, has given birth to a girl.
The baby, weighing 2.5 kilograms, was delivered by Caesarean section in the northern city of Chandigarh on Thursday, a month after the Indian Supreme Court denied an abortion request.
According to the BBC, the young girl is not aware that she has given birth. During her pregnancy she was told her bulge was because she had a big stone in her stomach.
Both the mother and the newborn are healthy and in a stable condition.
The young girl was allegedly raped repeatedly over seven months by her uncle, who has been arrested. Her family only discovered she was pregnant after she complained of stomach pains and was taken to a local doctor.
By the time the pregnancy was discovered, the 20-week limit for a termination had already been passed.
A local court in Chandigarh turned down the abortion plea on the grounds that she was too far into her pregnancy after a doctors’ panel said that termination of the pregnancy would be “too risky”. Later, the Supreme Court also refused to allow an abortion for her on similar grounds.
Neither the 10-year-old or her parents, who have said from the beginning that they do not want anything to do with the baby, have seen the newborn.
The infant will be looked after by the child welfare committee until she is put up for adoption, an official told the BBC.
The case grabbed headlines in India where terminations after 20-weeks are outlawed unless the mother’s life is at risk.
Despite the mother’s young age – the youngest ever case of a child giving birth, according to officials – and the violent nature of conception, the abortion was still not permitted.
There has been a several petitions issued to the Supreme Court in recent years from child rape survivors seeking to end their pregnancy after the 20-week cut off. In many cases, the young victims are not mature enough to be aware of their condition, resulting in pregnancies being discovered late.
In this case, the parents were unaware of their daughter’s situation as she was a “healthy and chubby child”, and they could never have imagined that their 10-year-old would be pregnant. The girl herself was very innocent and had no idea what was happening.
India has a grim record of sexual assaults on children, with a staggering 53 percent of children reporting some form of sexual abuse, according to a government study.
Save the Children India has found that 94.8 percent of child rape victims know their attackers; of those, more than 35 percent were raped by neighbours.