SC should make an exception to law, allow 10-year-old rape victim to abort foetus outside 20-week window

That we can even have a debate about this issue is unacceptable. With every passing day, the agony intensifies for the 10-year-old girl who was impregnated through a horrific rape. It's unconscionable on part of the system to have allowed this minor to have proceeded to the 26th week of her pregnancy.

Why was it not terminated earlier? The child is now being transported to the PGI facility in Chandigarh for a medical examination, the results of which will be given to a special bench of the Supreme Court on 28 July, so that the law can decide whether she can abort or not.

 SC should make an exception to law, allow 10-year-old rape victim to abort foetus outside 20-week window

Supreme Court of India. Reuters

If ever there was a case for doing the right thing, this is it. Can we really as a nation judge a girl's trauma, whether in court or in the media, and continue to torment her while believing we are actually concerned about her welfare? This is not civilised conduct, this is a ghoulish parody of justice.

This child cannot possibly deliver a baby spawned by rape. Besides, she is 10-years-old. What is wrong with us that a lower court refuses permission, and it is sent to the Supreme Court, all this while the foetus continues to grow?

Every day we come that bit closer to the due date, and it boggles the mind that neither the family nor the medical contingent taking care of this child, or even the police who have recorded the fact that she was raped, did anything in the first 20 weeks — the window in which a foetus can be aborted legally according to the Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.

In a nation where abortion clinics advertise cheap services, how is it possible that one little child has been allowed to suffer such indignity and mental torture?

There has to be a sense of proportion in applying the legal fiat. Which individual would even think twice about this issue if it was their progeny in this horrible situation? That everyone involved failed to do the victim justice and get rid of the foetus when she was being rape-tested and in hospital after the last of several assaults is a given. The girl was abused by her uncle on several occasions, which makes it even less valid to continue this pregnancy, even if it has had a walk-on role in this case.

That the case has reached this stage defies all logic.

Besides, if we are to be really honest, now is the time to make reparations to this child. Even waiting these three days for the Supreme Court is a delay that could have been avoided. And the medical problem is likely to get further complicated with every passing day, given her size, her age, and her limited physical development. Both the child and the mother would be in grave danger.

Having failed her entirely on several counts, it is now incumbent to protect the interests of this pre-teen mother who must be most bewildered and confused and in catatonic shock, being viewed as a specimen rather than being offered counseling and good care.

There is nothing more immoral than having allowed this child to suffer the rigours of rape, the stress of pregnancy and the harsh superstition-driven meanness of small-town India.

Updated Date: Jul 25, 2017 22:11:17 IST