India's top court rejects child rape victim's abortion plea

India's top court rejects child rape victim's abortion plea

New Delhi (AFP) - India's Supreme Court on Friday rejected a plea by a 10-year-old rape victim to have an abortion because doctors said it was a threat to her life.

The girl is eight months pregnant and her lawyers said her family had accepted the verdict.

"The court ruling is based on the opinion received from the qualified medical panel and we are content with the ruling," Alakh Alok Srivatav, a lawyer for the victim's family, told AFP.

The Supreme Court judges said they cannot allow a termination because the medical report suggested it was "neither good for the mother nor the foetus".

The girl, who has not been named, was allegedly raped several times by an uncle. He has been arrested for multiple rape.

The pregnancy was only discovered recently after her parents took her to hospital complaining of stomach pain. The parents then approached the courts to allow an abortion.

Their initial plea at a local court was declined over similar safety fears. The family challenged the ruling at the Supreme Court.

Indian law does not allow medical terminations after 20 weeks unless there is a threat to the mother's life.

Indian courts have considered many pleas from rape victims seeking permission to terminate pregnancies following abuse.

In May the top court allowed a 10-year-old rape victim from the northern state of Haryana to abort her nearly 21-week foetus.

India has a grim record of sexual assaults on minors with 20,000 cases of rape or sexual assaults reported in 2015, according to government data. A UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2014 said one in three rape victims was a minor.