Sexual abuse of girls followed by refusal of abortion: adding insult to injury
On 28 July, the case of a 10-year-old girl who became pregnant after being sexual abused by her uncle hit the news in India. According to reports, the family approached the district court in Chandigarh for permission for the child to have an abortion in the first part of July. It took until 15 July for the judge to order a medical board to examine the girl and submit a report on the feasibility of an abortion. Yet the feasibility of an abortion should never have been in question.
To make matters worse, the response of the medical board was clinically inaccurate. It made doing an abortion appear to be more dangerous than if the child carried the pregnancy to term, and some remarks appeared to be anti-abortion. And it led the judge, who seemed not to know better, to refuse the abortion.
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