A 10-year-old girl, pregnant after being repeatedly raped by her step-father and threatened into silence, has undergone an abortion at the Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, and is said to be in a stable condition.
"The child is undergoing counselling and is talking frequently. She is stable. We have directed the hospital to shift her to a separate room for privacy. There is also a nurse to take care of her," RS Sangwan, chairman of the Child Welfare Committee of Rohtak, told the Indian Express.
She was administered a medicine for abortion on Wednesday and her condition was being monitored, according to the report.
A city court had said that it will accept a medical panel's recommendation on whether she can be allowed an abortion. The panel of doctors, who took a humanitarian call, decided that she should be allowed to abort and not subjected to the trauma of child birth at her age. Indian laws prohibit abortions after 20 weeks, except when the mother's life is in danger.
The medical board of eight doctors said the girl's pregnancy could be anywhere between 18 and 22 weeks.
Sexual violence against children is rampant in India, surging by almost 70 percent according to latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data. There were 14,913 reported sex crimes committed against children in 2015 against 8,904 the previous year – including rape, molestation, exploitation for pornography, and trafficking minors for sex. Children are often caught up in the conspiracy of silence in keeping the abuser's identity a secret.
A 2007 government survey found that 53 percent of children had faced one or more forms of sexual abuse, but few reported the assault to anyone, Reuters reported. Almost 95 percent of child sex abuse crimes were committed by people known to the victims.
Her mother, a migrant labourer from Bihar, took her to a doctor after she complained of pain in her leg. The girl told the doctor that she was raped by her step-father — who is also her paternal uncle — for years and was asked to keep the crime a secret under threat.
The child's alleged rapist, arrested by the police after the facts of the case came to light, worked at a plywood factory in Rohtak. He possibly took advantage of the fact that the girl could not speak properly after a fall from the roof of their house. She has problems concentrating, her mother said. An FIR under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has been filed against the accused.