A 10-year old girl in Rohtak town in Haryana state who was repeatedly raped by her stepfather is now approximately twenty weeks pregnant and unable to have an abortion due to Indian law.


A 10-year old girl’s repeated Rape and pregnancy was brought to light last Wednesday when her mother began to suspect her daughter might be pregnant. This news was confirmed when she brought the girl in to the doctor and notified police. Pankaj Nain, police chief of Rohtak district, was notified through a helpline for crimes against women. He wrote that after a brief investigation, it was found that the girl’s stepfather raped her repeatedly in her mother’s absence.

He has since been arrested and detained. An examination by a medical board revealed that the girl was 10 years old and over twenty weeks pregnant.

Dr. S.K. Dhattarwal, head of the forensic medicine department at Rohtak’s Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) revealed that the girl is very traumatized -- that “she was not able to understand what was going on with her. She was subjected to sexual intercourse several times.”

The case

The victim has now pleaded for an abortion, but since she is further than twenty weeks along, she may not be able to have one. Indian law states that abortions are not allowed after twenty weeks of pregnancy unless the mother’s life is in danger. This law was set in place to fight the skewed gender ratio and India’s cultural preference for sons.

It is meant to stop the abortion of millions of female fetuses after the revelation of gender.

Recently, many women have made petitions to India’s Supreme Court to allow the termination of pregnancies after twenty weeks, but the court has continually transferred the issue to medical experts. In this girl’s particular case, doctors from PGIMS are meeting to discuss the family’s request of abortion.

The verdict has still not been decided.

Other recent rapes in the region have only reinforced India’s reputation of being dangerous for women. Just last week, the mutilated body of a woman in her twenties was found with bones in her head shattered and sharp objects in her vagina. Another case involved a young woman dragged into a car after midnight, raped repeatedly for hours in the moving car, and thrown onto the road just south of New Delhi.

Sexual assaults are unfortunately common to both women and younger girls. Forces such as the helpline for women which helped the pregnant, raped 10-year old are what serve to help and fight the tragic state of danger.