Chandigarh, July19:In a controversial decision, a 10-year-old rape survivor was denied permission to terminate the pregnancy resulting from the rape by the district court in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Indian law allows abortion of foetuses up to 20 weeks old, but courts can make exceptions in case abnormalities are detected. The survivor's father is a government employee.
Doctors warn that pregnancy at such a young age is risky as the pelvic bones are not fully developed yet.
"I have not seen a 10-yearold girl pregnant ever before", said Rashmi Bagga, department of obstetrics and gynaecology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.
According to the TOI report, the case has left doctors perplexed and in a quandary, since cases of such young girls getting pregnant are rare and pregnancies like these are hard to detect in time for safe abortions.
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The case also presents a unique problem: both abortion and carrying the pregnancy to term are fraught with risks for the minor's life. While normal delivery is ruled out, even a Caesarean section at that age is unsafe. "When a menstrual cycle is missed, it is not noted by underage girls", she is quoted saying.
According to a report, the 10-year-old was repeatedly raped by her maternal uncle.
Experts add that they are increasingly coming across cases of menarche (first occurrence of menstruation) setting in as early as eight years, when the normal age is 13 years.
"The victim is six months pregnant, as revealed by her ultrasound reports", an official from the hospital said. Despite this, pregnancy at 10 years is extremely rare. The hospital authorities refused to give more details. "If legal permission is granted treating it as an exceptional case, it's better to terminate the pregnancy as there can be complications", said Dr Umesh Jindal, reports TOI.