India court refuses abortion for teen rape victim

NEW DELHI: An Indian court has denied a 14-year-old girl a late-term abortion after she was allegedly raped by a doctor in the western state of Gujarat, the victim’s lawyer said Friday.


The Gujarat High Court on Thursday rejected the petition filed by the father of the girl, saying India’s abortion law does not allow termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks, or five months.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is more than five months pregnant.

“The father of the victim is a labourer and does not have enough resources to take care of the child to be born.

The parents are yet to decide if they want to approach higher forum,” the teenager’s lawyer, Pradip Bhate, told AFP.

Judge Abhilasha Kumari said it was a “difficult” decision, but added that “whatever be the circumstances in which the child was conceived, whatever the trauma of the young mother, the fact remains that the child is also not to blame for being conceived”.

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

The father’s petition said his daughter became pregnant after she visited a doctor who injected her with sedatives and then raped her in February.

The police subsequently arrested the doctor and he is currently in custody.

In April, the same court denied an abortion to a 24-year-old gang rape victim, who was more than six months pregnant.

The woman later refused to keep the baby, giving custody to the state government of her newborn.