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Amnesty say 10-year-old girl raped by her stepfather being denied an abortion

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
The young girl was raped by her stepfather and found to be 21 weeks pregnant
The young girl was raped by her stepfather and found to be 21 weeks pregnant

A 10-year-old girl who was raped by her stepfather has allegedly been denied the abortion she desperately needs, according to Amnesty International.

On 21 April, the 10-year-old girl arrived with her mother at the Trinidad Maternity and Children’s Hospital (Hospital Materno Infantil de Trinidad) in Asunción, the capital of Paraguay, complaining of stomach ache. 

On examination, a 21-week pregnancy was established. The girl’s pregnancy is the result of having been raped by her stepfather.
 
The director of the hospital publicly acknowledged that the girl’s pregnancy was of high risk to her, despite the girl being in stable health condition. A few days later, the Public Ministry ordered the girl to be admitted to a different hospital, the Red CrossHospital (Hospital de la Cruz Roja), to monitor her health.
 
The World Health Organization (WHO) and health professionals around the world agree that pregnancy poses specific risks to young girls whose bodies are not fully developed and that the risk to their lives is greater.
 
Therefore all options regarding the pregnancy, including safe abortion services, must be made available.
 
On 28 April the girl’s mother submitted an administrative plea to the hospital requesting an abortion for the girl. Nothing indicates that the hospital is considering an abortion to save her life.
 
On the contrary, according to latest reports, the girl will be sent to a center for young mothers (centro de niñas madres).
 
In Paraguay, abortion is legal when the life of the woman or girl is at risk, therefore she is entitled to a lawful abortion.
 
According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child the best interest of the child has to always be of primary consideration and states have an obligation under the Convention to ensure access to abortion in these circumstances.
 
Amnesty said the refusal to allow the girl have an abortion is "tantamount to torture".  They say forcing her to carry the child to full-term is a “further violation of her rights”.
 
The non-governmental organisation is calling on people to write to the Paraguayan authorities to protest the case and to urge the authorities to carry out an independent an impartial investigation into the rape of the girl and to hold those responsible for the abuse accountable.