14-year-old girl who became pregnant after being raped denied an abortion by Indian High Court

Rejecting the application for the abortion, the judge said the child 'is not to blame for being conceived'

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The Independent Online

A 14-year-old girl who became pregnant after she was raped has been denied an abortion by the Gujarat High Court in India.

The victim, who has not been named, is more than 24 weeks pregnant, and is currently studying in high school in the Sabarkantha district in north Gujarat, in the west of the country.

As reported by the Indian Express, The petition for the girl's abortion was brought by her father, but was rejected by Justice Abhilasha Kumari on 23 July, as she was more than 20 weeks pregnant, the legal limit for abortion.

Abortion in India is only permitted before 20 weeks, and only if the pregnancy would threaten the life of the mother, cause her grave physical or mental injury, or if the child would suffer serious disability if it was born.

 

While the judge did not grant the girl an abortion, she ordered the local authority to take care of her, and also ordered the government to pay 100,000 rupees (around £1,000) to her family as compensation.

The girl's father is a manual labourer, and the family's lawyer said they did not have enough money to properly take care of the child.

The father's petition alleged that the girl became pregnant after she was allegedly drugged and raped by a doctor she visited in February. She was reportedly threatened by the doctor, and did not speak about it until it was discovered that she was pregnant a couple of months later.

The doctor has since been arrested by police and is being held in custody.

Acknowledging the difficulty of the case, the judge said that despite the trauma of the girl's rape, the child "is also not to blame for being conceived."

"It did not ask to be born," she said. "The child is innocent, just like the victim, its mother."

A similar case occurred in the same court in April, when an abortion was denied to a 24-year-old woman, who became pregnant after she was gang raped.