ARGENTINA- A pregnancy of a 10 year old girl who was allegedly raped by her stepfather has sent shock waves in Argentina, as decriminalizing abortion debate has now come into full force, ahead of a scheduled congressional vote in June.
The 10 year old girl was found 21 weeks pregnant when she was taken into hospital when she complained of stomach pains.
The current legislation allows terminating of pregnancy in the event of rape or the pregnancy is in danger for the woman’s health.
But the province where the girl lives Salta, abortion in case of rape is permitted only during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The authorities in the province said that the mother and the child had declined abortion in a letter but feminist activist Mariana Carvajal said she doubted this because of the different version of events.
A demonstrator paints a legend on the street in demand of women’s access to safe, free and legal abortion, during a rally outside the National Congress in Buenos Aires, on April 10, 2018. Photo: EITAN ABRAMOVICH / AFP
She said to AFP, “The family is terrified. They told the mother than an abortion was very risky. What we don’t know, is what the girl thinks. An abortion is still possible,”
Carvajal is founder of the feminist NiUnaMenos movement against gender-based violence. Carvajal said the girl was hospitalized during her first 12 weeks of pregnancy but she was diagnosed with constipation. It was only reported on her second visit to the doctor where she revealed she was repeatedly raped by her stepfather.
2,700 girls aged 10 to 14 give birth every year in Argentina according to Unicef figures.
The Argentina congress will vote on June 13th whether to decriminalize abortion. According to polls majority of people approve of the delegislation, even though the Church strongly disagrees.
Photo Credit- Vetre Antanaviciute-Meskauskiene/123RF