A 10-year-old girl who was raped will be allowed to have an abortion even though she has crossed the 20-week limit for terminations, police said on Wednesday.
The child has said she was repeatedly raped by her stepfather, who has since been arrested.
Her case only came to light last week, by which time she had crossed the 20-week legal limit after which terminations are only allowed where there is a danger to the life of the mother or the baby.
“The court had asked the medical board to take a call and doctors have decided to go ahead with the abortion,” Garima Devi, the police investigation officer assigned to the case, said.
“The board has not said when they are planning it (abortion) but it will be any time soon.”
“The doctors can’t wait even for a day now and at the same time we want to ensure the girl’s life is not at risk,” said Grima Devi.
In recent months India’s top court has received a number of petitions from women, including rape survivors and trafficking victims, seeking abortions where pregnancies had gone beyond 20 weeks.
Activists say the restriction should be extended to 24 weeks as victims of rape are often late to report their pregnancies.
‘The Indian Express’ said the victim’s mother wanted the accused to be set free as he had apologised and that she had other children to take care of.
“The girl’s life is destroyed but what will happen to my other children? I need to think about their future too,” the daily quoted the mother as saying from a hospital in Rohtak, Haryana.
A UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2014 expressed alarm over the widespread sexual abuse of children and said one in three rape victims in India was a minor.
As many as 10,854 cases of child rape were reported in India in 2015, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.