The ten-year-old rape victim whose plea to abort was rejected by the Supreme Court last month, delivered a baby after undergoing a C-section at Chandigarh’s Government Medical College on Thursday. The girl as well as the new-born are safe.
The girl was not told anything about her delivery. Instead, she was told that the baby bump was a big stone in her stomach and the surgery was done only to remove it. The girl’s parents have also not seen the baby yet.
GMCH’s director AK Janmeja said “both mother and child are healthy.” The infant’s weight is 2.1 kg and has been admitted to the neo-natal ICU. The 10-year-old has been keep in a separate room. The girl’s parents have requested the hospital to put the new-born up for adoption, authorities said, and have also refused to divulge the gender of the baby.
Dr Dasari Harish, chairperson of the committee which had been constituted for treatment of the rape victim, described the C-section procedure as “uneventful”, though it was a “high-risk pregnancy”. “A team of doctors was involved in delivering the child. In the team, there were three gynaecologists, an anaesthetist, a neonatologist and a paediatrician,” he said.
According to Janmeja, both child and her 10-year-old mother are being kept under observation. He said, “We’ll keep the child under observation for maximum five days. She is being provided milk via a milk bank. Only when we feel that the child is healthy, she’ll be taken by Child Welfare Committee, which is a part of the Social Welfare Department. We’ve submitted a report to Chandigarh administration.”
Janmeja said that the treatment expenses of the rape victim are being borne by the Chandigarh administration. “The hospital will take proper care of them in future too. The hospital will provide them free facilities,” he said.
The girl was repeatedly raped allegedly by her uncle for several months and the crime came to light only when the victim was taken to hospital on complaining of stomach ache last month. She was found to be over 30 weeks pregnant. Her uncle, who is a hotel employee, is in custody and is awaiting trial for rape.
On July 28, the Supreme Court had dismissed a plea seeking its nod for terminating the 32-week-old pregnancy of the rape survivor after taking note of a medical report that abortion would neither be good for the girl nor the foetus.
A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud took note of the report of the medical board set up by Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, to examine the rape survivor and the consequences if the termination was allowed.
The bench had asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, to consider its suggestion to set up a permanent medical board in every state to take a prompt decision on prospects of early abortion in view of the fact that such cases are reaching the apex court in a big way.
The PIL was filed after a Chandigarh district court on July 18 refused to let the girl undergo the abortion.
Courts allow medical termination of pregnancy up to 20 weeks under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and can make an exception if the foetus is genetically abnormal.