A 10-year-old rape victim in Chandigarh, India, gave birth via Cesarean section, reports the BBC.
The unidentified girl, who was approximately 35 weeks into the pregnancy, had been denied an abortion by the Indian Supreme Court on the grounds she was too far into the pregnancy, and to terminate it would have been “too risky,” according to the BBC.
The young rape victim did not know she was pregnant, nor was she aware of the birth of the 5.5 pound baby girl. She was told the bulge in her stomach was because she had a big stone in her stomach.
The pregnancy was discovered in mid-July when the girl complained of abdominal pain and her parents took her to the hospital. The young girl told authorities she was repeatedly raped by her uncle. He has since been arrested.
The premature baby girl is in the neo-natal intensive care unit where she will remain for several days. Ultimately, the infant will be put up for adoption, reports the BBC.
The case has been highly publicized in India recently, with officials saying the rape victim is the first case of a such a young girl giving birth. Indian law does not allow abortion after 20 weeks unless doctors certify the mother’s life is in danger.
“In view of the recommendation made by medical board, we are satisfied it would not be in the interest of girl and neither to fetus who is 32 weeks old. We decline to terminate pregnancy,” the Supreme Court ruled, according USA Today.
Many young girls who are the victims of sexual abuse are not aware of their pregnancies. Consequently, many are past the 20-week mark when the pregnancy is discovered.
India is home to the world’s largest population of sexually abused children. More than 10,000 children were raped in India in 2015, the majority of them at the hands of relatives or family friends, reports the BBC.