A district court in Chandigarh ruled against the abortion plea of 10-year old girl who became pregnant after being repeatedly raped by her maternal uncle.

According to a report from The Health Site, the child was taken to the hospital after complaining of a stomach-ache. Ultrasound reports revealed that the Rape Victim was 26 weeks into her pregnancy, making her unviable for abortion in accordance with Indian Laws.

"The victim is six months pregnant, as revealed by her ultrasound reports. We have submitted our medical advice to the court regarding termination of the fetus," said an official from Government Medical College and Hospital, who was quoted by the Times of India.

India’s abortion law

Under the Medical Pregnancy Termination (MTP) Act of 1971, abortion is only allowed within 20 weeks of pregnancy. A woman who chooses to terminate her pregnancy within 12 weeks needs to have the permission of a doctor, while those who are up to 20 weeks in their pregnancy term are required to get permission from at least two doctors.

Despite being strict on the restrictions, the MTP has a special provision in cases where the fetus is either genetically abnormal or poses a grave threat to the mother's life.

Abortion in the United States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines legal induced abortion as an intervention performed by a licensed clinician that is intended to terminate an ongoing pregnancy.

According to CDC's Abortion Surveillance System, there are 664,465 incidences of legally induced abortions across the District of Columbia, New York City, and 47 reporting states. Among those, only 1.3 percent were performed at or over 21 weeks of gestation.

Late-term abortion and childhood pregnancy carry the same risk

Performing an abortion beyond the 20-week mark can be extremely risky, especially for a 10-year old girl.

Young girls possess a smaller cervix compared to adults. Due to this, cervical injuries are more likely to occur. Furthermore, girls are more prone to post-abortion infections. Terminating a pregnancy at 26 weeks may also increase the risk of uterine tears, cervical incompetence, ectopic pregnancies, eventual miscarriages, and death.

Carrying the pregnancy to term can also become a life or death situation for a child. Their body, especially their reproductive organs, are not yet fully-developed. Both c-section and vaginal delivery can be very dangerous for the girl due to the underdeveloped pelvic muscles. The pregnancy may also put the child’s internal organs under high pressure, increasing the risk of pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure.