Mumbai: Cops suspect illegal abortion after rape survivor delivers dead foetus

An NGO has alleged that the 17-year-old rape survivor’s parents took her to a private hospital for an illegal abortion; parents said they did not know of the rape or the pregnancy

The rape of a 17-year-old girl came to light last week, after she delivered a dead foetus. More shockingly, however, the police now suspect the stillbirth could have been the result of an illegal abortion attempt, and both the hospital and the survivor’s parents are on the radar for their alleged involvement.

The matter was brought to light by the NGO Mahila Vikas Samiti, which received a tip-off that a well-known hospital in Jogeshwari (East) was carrying out an illegal abortion procedure on a rape survivor.

Representational pic

The NGO’s president, Rida Rashid, alleged, “When her family members came to know about her pregnancy, they did not allow her to go outside the house. After six months, they contacted a private hospital.”

Rashid said that by the time the NGO workers reached the hospital, the doctors had already administered the abortion drugs to the minor. However, they failed to complete the abortion before the police got there.

“We informed the Meghwadi police station, as well as the head of the hospital, about the activities going on and the police began the investigation.

In the meantime, with the help of the police, we shifted the survivor to Cooper Hospital for further treatment. But after admission, she delivered a dead foetus,” Rashid told this paper. In contradiction to her allegations, however, the survivor’s parents told the police they did not know their daughter had been raped, or that she was pregnant.

In their statement, the girl’s parents said that they decided to take her to the hospital after she began complaining of severe pain in the stomach. The survivor told the Meghwadi police that she had been raped six months ago, while she was playing at a ground near her house.

She said she was gagged and raped by a stranger. She said she did not tell her parents about the incident or her pregnancy. The cops, however, have not given the girl’s parents or the Jogeshwari hospital a clean chit yet. “We are waiting for the post-mortem report and medical report, and we will take action against that private hospital if it turns out that the victim has delivered a dead foetus because of their medicines,” said Police Inspector Prabhakar Jadhav from Meghwadi police station.

The police have registered an FIR against unknown persons under various sections of the IPC, including 376 (rape) and 328 (causing hurt by means of poison), and have also registered charges under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

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