India

India rape: 14-year-old girl allowed to have late abortion

India rape protest - file photo Image copyright AP
Image caption Some recent cases of rape in India have sparked protests across the country

A 14-year-old Indian girl who became pregnant after allegedly being raped is due to undergo a late-term abortion.

The operation is scheduled for Friday, doctors said.

Earlier in the week, the Supreme Court overturned lower court rulings barring the girl from the procedure if doctors believed there was a "serious threat to her life if the child is not aborted".

A team of doctors appointed to examine her, said on Thursday that she was not in a fit state to have the baby.

The girl, a high school student in the western state of Gujarat, is 25 weeks' pregnant. Indian laws allow termination of pregnancy until 20 weeks' gestation.

Last week, the Gujarat high court rejected a petition brought by her father to allow abortion on legal grounds.

The teenager's family has alleged she was drugged and raped by a doctor in February.

They said she kept quiet about this as her attacker had threatened her. She had not spoken about it until it was discovered that she was pregnant. The doctor has been arrested.

The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act allows abortions between 12 and 20 weeks only if continuing the pregnancy put the life of the mother at risk or if there is a chance of the child being born with physical or mental abnormalities.

India introduced tough anti-abortion laws in 1994 to address the skewed sex ratio which was caused by the country's preference for the male child and large-scale abortion of female foetuses after gender selection tests.