The father of a 14-year-old rape victim in India is pleading with a court to allow the teen to abort her viable, late-term unborn baby because he cannot afford to feed the child, the Deccan Chronicle reports.
The young girl is about 30 weeks pregnant, past the 20-week legal abortion limit in India. At 30 weeks, her unborn baby is viable outside the womb. Viability generally is considered to be 24 weeks, though new studies indicate that babies are surviving even earlier.
According to news reports from the country, the girl’s father is scheduled to appear before the Allahabad High Court next week to ask the court to make an exception for his daughter and her unborn child. He is appealing lower court decisions denying the late-term abortion.
The father is unnamed in the reports. However, he said he has eight children already and does not have a job anymore.
“Who will accept a daughter with a child before marriage… and I cannot feed her anymore,” the father said. About the appeal, he said, “I will stay with the path I have chosen, rest is up to the almighty.”
The young girl’s attacker is in jail, the Hindustan Times reports.
Reports do not indicate whether the girl herself wants the abortion. Numerous rape victims have said they felt pressured by family, partners or health care workers to have abortions. A survey by the Elliot Institute also found that many rape survivors who became pregnant and had abortions said the abortion only added to their trauma.
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Though abortion activists are pushing the young girl’s case, the very late-term abortion could threaten her life as well as her viable unborn child’s. What the girl and her family need are physical and emotional support to help them through the difficult situation. Killing the unborn child will not solve the family’s problems.