After Supreme Court nod to abort, 13-year-old rape survivor delivers child

Her mother looked grim and confused as she waited outside the operation theatre for her daughter. She saw the baby in the OT but refrained from visiting the NICU.

Written by ​TABASSUM BARNAGARWALA | Mumbai | Updated: September 9, 2017 10:00 am
Rape victim delivers baby, SC abortion, rape victim abortion, 13-year-old rape victim The newborn is on neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) support and weighs 1.8 kg. (Representational Image)

Two days after the Supreme Court allowed a 13-year-old rape survivor to undergo abortion after 31 weeks of gestation, the girl underwent a Caesarean procedure at the state-run J J Hospital at 1.45 pm Friday, giving birth to a boy. The newborn is on neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) support and weighs 1.8 kg. As intra-uterine foeticide is not practised, doctors had to induce early labour. “The baby is stable and will be under observation. Since this is a pre-term delivery, the weight is low,” said Dr Ashok Anand, head of gynaecology at the hospital. The minor will remain in hospital for at least seven days.

Her mother looked grim and confused as she waited outside the operation theatre for her daughter. She saw the baby in the OT but refrained from visiting the NICU. “My daughter is stable. She is talking to me. We have not decided if we want to keep the baby. My husband will decide,” she said. The girl was silent, speaking only in whispers when her mother came close.

According to doctors, they opted for the caesarean procedure because of the minor’s age. “The pelvic bone structure is small and normal delivery is not possible. She was also not physically fit to deliver normally,” Dr Anand said. If the family opts to give up the baby, the state will take custody and put the newborn up for adoption.

The rape victim had approached the Supreme Court to terminate her pregnancy after a sonography on August 9 showed that she was 27 weeks pregnant. A delay caused by her initial admission to the children’s shelter home by the Women and Child Department, followed by delay in documentation due to holidays led to her pregnancy progressing to an advanced stage.

By the time the case came up for hearing in the apex court, she had reached 31 weeks of gestation. A medical panel at JJ Hospital had suggested terminating pregnancy, observing the mental trauma of the child, following which the court ruled in her favour on Wednesday.

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  1. John Diggs
    Sep 12, 2017 at 5:12 am
    With all the ultrasounds readily available in Mumbai, the humanity of the child was well known (although it is selectively ignored). That humanity persists although the conception was a crime. One easily sees, especially in this instance, that bringing the baby out alive was less trauma than killing it. Error on the side of charity for the innocent.
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      Patti Smith
      Sep 12, 2017 at 3:25 am
      I hope this baby will be adopted and live on to live a happy life. These babies are those "hard cases" babies conceived from rape and incest. These babies are not "products of rape" but are human beings like you and like me. They should not be singled out for death because of the crime of the father. FYI- I am a rape conceived woman grateful for my life.
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      1. Kannan Ramanathan
        Sep 9, 2017 at 10:06 am
        what sort of ic verdict was that to do a foeticide. have they gone off their minds? had they not delayed hearing of this case, a termination in early weeks could have been done. don't they know that after 28 weeks the survival chance is high, it is a killing. does the Supreme Court allow this? they or country should compensate the child and take full responsibility for the future expenses of the child, and this girl. The cost should be recovered from the judges for they have delayed the hearing and India should bear the expenses.
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          chander
          Sep 9, 2017 at 5:17 am
          This one looks like the adoption industry has ultimately one. A successful "harvest" for the adoption lobby. These people don't even care for the traumatized child. The organ industry is not far behind. Shame on you judges. Will you do this to your own child?
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            Himanshu_Trivedi
            Sep 9, 2017 at 5:12 am
            And who is going to be punished for the "delays" within the system which ultimately frustrated the raped girl (minor) and her family to exercise their right to abort? Anyone? Including any courts, judges, these many holidays' etc.? Why "delays" shall be there to victimise the victim all over again. Raped by a beast as a child, the SYSTEM RAPED the girl all over again and this time even her family. SAD and BRUTAL systemic failures in India.
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