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14-Year-Old Indian Girl Allegedly Raped by Doctor Denied Abortion

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A 14-year-old Indian rape survivor’s request for an abortion was rejected today by the High Court of the state of Gujarat.

The petition, submitted to the High Court of India’s eastern coastal state by the girl’s father, was refused by presiding Justice Abhilasha Kumari who reportedly said the circumstances of the case were “highly unfortunate” but that the law must be followed, AFP reports.

The girl’s father, a bicycle tire repairman, brought the plea to the High Court on Thursday after it had been rejected by a district court days before.

The petition was denied under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, which only allows termination up to the 20th week, or fifth month, of the pregnancy. The survivor had reached 24 weeks at the time of the hearing.

The father’s petition alleges that the 14-year-old student was raped by her doctor in Himmatnagar when seeking treatment for typhoid fever. The minor was allegedly threatened into not telling her parents and the incident remained undiscovered until she became ill and was hospitalized. It was then that her pregnancy was discovered, according to the Indian Express. The doctor was arrested shortly after the allegations were made against him and is being held in police custody, according to AFP.

The High Court ruling issued by Judge Kumari today said: “She, too, deserves to be educated, dream her dreams, and, in times to come, have a home and family of her own, just like any other young girl. Humanity and society should assist, her and others like her, in this regard.”

In April the Gujarat High Court also denied the request for pregnancy termination on behalf of a 23-year-old survivor of gang rape from the Botad district. She too had exceeded the 20-week limit on abortion. The Botad survivor gave birth to a baby boy in early July, she has since given custody of the child to the state.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) found that 33,707 women reported being raped in 2013. This amounts to 93 rapes every day.

In December 2012 a 23-year-old medical student Jyoti Singh Pandey was beaten and gang raped by six men in the Indian capital Delhi when traveling on a bus with a friend. Pandey died of her injuries two days later, the men have since been convicted and sentenced to death by hanging. This case caused international outcry and drew attention to issues of sexual abuse in India.

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