Thaddeus Baklinski

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Indian court refuses to allow late-term abortion for rape victim over health risk: report

Thaddeus Baklinski
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AHMEDABAD, India, September 9, 2013 (LifeSIteNews.com) - A high court in India has reportedly ruled against allowing a late-term abortion for a teenage rape victim, saying that aborting the girl’s 21-week-gestation child would violate India’s abortion law and could pose a health risk. Abortion is legal in India up to 20 weeks. 

Doctors had initially refused the abortion because they needed approval from the court due to the criminal proceedings against the accused rapist, according to a Times of India report. 

However, when the unnamed 16-year-old girl's mother asked the Gujarat high court to allow the abortion because she said the family did not want to keep the child, the court deferred to the opinion of doctors who said the procedure could harm the girl's health, and denied permission. The court also pointed out that the abortion would violate the country's abortion law.

“At present her pregnancy has reached 21 weeks and as per provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, her prayer cannot be granted,” the court said last week, according to First Post.

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An analysis of research into the medical and psychological harms of abortion, entitled “How Abortion Harms Women,” was released in May, 2013, at the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva. 

The analysis included documentation of possible abortion complications, including hemorrhage, infection, cervical damage, uterine perforation, pelvic disease and retained fetal or placental tissue. Long-term risks of abortion include subsequent preterm birth, infertility, cancer, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and placenta previa. 

“Women face numerous risks with abortion, legal or illegal, and those risks are substantially greater in the developing world,” said Jeanne Head, R.N., National Right to Life vice-president for international affairs and UN representative, in releasing the analysis. “Yet some in the international community have focused their resources primarily on legalizing abortion at the expense of women’s lives and health.” 

“The evidence is overwhelming: Abortion is dangerous for women,” said Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach (MCCL GO) Executive Director Scott Fischbach. “Abortion is by its very nature a violent and damaging procedure.” 

The "How Abortion Hurts Women" analysis is available in English, French, and Spanish at the MCCL GO website
 

Related: 

Eight facts most don’t know about physical and psychological consequences of abortion for women

What really happens to women who have abortions?

Maternal health argument for abortion persists, despite evidence

Study Shows Abortion Takes Toll on Adolescent Mental Health

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