INDIA – Rape survivor, age 15, seven months pregnant, refused abortion, dies

A 15-year-old rape survivor died of pregnancy-related complications at the district hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district on Thursday. The girl was seven months pregnant. According to news agency PTI, police revealed that she was admitted to the hospital on the night of 2 January and passed away on the night of 7 January.

She was allegedly raped by a 30-year-old man in a sugarcane field in June last year, where she had gone for work. The accused had warned her not to report the assault to her family members, threatening to kill them if she did.

The girl’s father had filed a complaint at the police station regarding the rape of his daughter on 4 December. The accused man was arrested on 6 December. The girl’s father said that the family had come to know about the pregnancy only on 6 December; by then, she was six-months pregnant.

According to PTI, the girl’s father had sought permission from the district administration to have the pregnancy aborted, but permission was denied as she was already six months pregnant. Doctors had also cited the police case as a reason not to give permission for the abortion, the news agency reported.

The hospital said the girl was in “serious condition” when she was brought in, and her health deteriorated further. The post-mortem report says the death was due to infection.

SOURCE: The Wire, 11 January 2021 ; PHOTO by Reuters: BBC News, 16 April 2018