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Doctors say normal delivery, abortion equally risky for 12-year-old rape survivor

Doctors said the girl may need psychiatric help to overcome the mental trauma

mumbai Updated: Aug 11, 2017 00:16 IST
Aayushi Pratap
Aayushi Pratap
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Rape survivor,Pregnancy

Doctors said both abortion and normal delivery after full term are equally risky for the 12-year old rape survivor.

Dr Arun Nayak, professor of gynaecology at Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, Sion, said after 27 weeks abortion is going to be just like a “mini delivery”.

“At the age of 12, the pelvis is not fully developed and the vaginal opening is small. There are risks of lacerations,” said Dr Nayak. “Also, not all 12-year-olds are of the same size, so she will have to be thoroughly evaluated to see if she can have a delivery or a caesaren.”

Doctors said the girl may need psychiatric help to overcome the mental trauma. Dr Ashwini Bhalerao, gynaecologist at PD Hinduja Hospital, Mahim, said, “There are so many pregnancies that have crossed the 20-week mark and need abortion. Provisions need to be made for them so cases don’t have to be directed to the court.” she said.

Dr Nikhil Datar, who is helping the girl’s mother file the petition, said the case is extremely complex. “If she is refused abortion, it will mean that the girl will have to carry the child for another two and a half months, which is only going to add to her trauma,” he said.

A medico-legal expert said while the process of premature delivery and abortion are the same, in the former the condition of the mother is given precedence. “It is a clash of moralities,” she said.

“The government must campaign to sensitise parents particularly about visible bodily changes in their child in such cases, so the case is not diagnosed late,” said Alakh Alok Srivastava, who had filed a PIL in the case of the 10-year-old rape survivor from Chandigarh who was 30 weeks pregnant when her parents found out about her pregnancy.

First Published: Aug 11, 2017 00:16 IST