The case of a heavily pregnant 10-year-old girl denied an abortion after allegedly being raped by her uncle has sparked a huge media storm in India.
(ES) Her situation has caused frenzied press interest, with India’s Supreme Court rejecting appeals for a late-term abortion.
But her father has accused journalists of profiting from her misfortune. He told the BBC: “The press have turned this into a business enterprise.”
The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, only recently discovered she was pregnant after complaining of pain in her abdomen.
Lawyers representing her family applied to India’s top court for a termination, but doctors claimed it would be too much of a risk for the girl, who is 32 weeks pregnant.
Abortions in India are not allowed after 20 weeks unless a mother’s life is in danger.
Her distraught family have accepted the decision but are angry at the media interest in her situation.
Speaking to the BBC, her father said: “I want [the alleged rapist] to be severely punished. He should get the death penalty or be locked away for the rest of his life in prison.”
But he also asked: “Why are you advertising my daughter’s case? The press have turned this into a business enterprise.”
The girl’s case has struck a nerve in Indian society by highlighting the scale of sexual abuse that exists in the country, where a child under 16 is raped every 155 minutes.
In this case, the child is said to still be unaware that she is carrying an unborn child, and believes her bulging stomach is because of a big stone.
Someone who knows the family told the BBC: “She’s very innocent and has no idea what’s happened to her.”
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