Mumbai: Baby born to 13-year-old rape survivor dies

Posted By: PTI
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The baby born on Friday to a 13-year-old rape survivor from Mumbai, whom the Supreme Court had granted permission to abort her 32-week-old foetus, died on Sunday morning.

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The newborn was under neonatal intensive care unit and weighed 1.8 kg as he was premature during his birth and as most of his organs were underdeveloped.

The minor rape victim, who was allowed by the Supreme Court to terminate her 31-week-old pregnancy on medical grounds, had on Friday delivered the baby after a cesarean section operation at the state-run J J Hospital at 1.45 pm.

According to hospital sources, the baby's condition turned critical yesterday and doctors removed him from an oxygen machine and put him on a ventilator. A medical officer said the hospital could not comment on the cause of the death as the postmortem report was yet to be finalised.

The 13-year-old mother, who is still in the hospital, is being treated by the head of the hospital's gynaecologist department, Dr Ashok Anand. "We will discharge her from the hospital after her recovery," Dr Anand said.

The Supreme Court on September 6, had directed that the medical procedure be conducted on the girl at the earliest, preferably on September 8, after it took note of the report of the Supreme Court-appointed medical board comprising doctors of the J J Hospital.

The victim, a Mumbai resident and a Class 7 student, had to approach the apex court as the law prohibits the abortion of a foetus after 20 weeks of pregnancy. She approached the Court to terminate her pregnancy after a sonography on August 9 that showed she was 27 weeks pregnant. Since Section 3(2)(b) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act caps the limit of abortion at 20 weeks, the minor's father had approached the court seeking relief under Section 5 of the Act.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, also took note of the risk factors and asked the hospital to admit the girl a day before the abortion.

India has a 20-week legal ceiling on abortion.The pregnancy termination law allows a woman to abort after that but only after doctors confirm it is necessary to save the mother's life.

PTI

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