Mexican Woman Denied Abortion After Rape Gets Legal Settlement

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 8, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mexican Woman Denied Abortion After Rape Gets Legal Settlement Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 8, 2006

Mexico City, Mexico ( — A 19 year-old Mexican woman who was denied an abortion after becoming pregnant as a result of being raped when she was 13 was offered a legal settlement by the country’s government. Pro-abortion groups are hailing the decision.

In Mexico, abortion is illegal and that includes cases of rape or incest. Mexican women who are raped can only obtain an abortion if their life is in danger from the pregnancy.

but women trying to take advantage of that exception say that numerous bureaucratic hurdles and other red tape exists that make it difficult to have an abortion then.

The woman will be paid $40,000 to cover legal and medical costs and allow her money to help raise her son. She will also receive an additional annual stipend of an undisclosed amount to help with her son’s education through high school.

Also, according to a Los Angeles Times report, Mexican officials have agreed to make the process easier for raped women who want to have abortions.

"This is a triumph for all women," Marta Lamas, one of Mexico’s leading abortion advocate, told the Times. "After six years, the government has finally acknowledged that it denied this young woman her rights."

Norberto Rivera Carrera, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Mexico City, disagreed and said in 2000 earlier in the case, "Human life in any situation or condition must be respected."

"That child doesn’t deserve to die just because he was the product of a rape," he added.

Paulina Ramirez was 13 years-old when she was raped by a heroin addict in her home in Mexicali. Though she and her mother pursued an abortion, Baja California officials persuaded her to have the baby. Pr-life advocates visited the girl in the hospital in an attempt to change her mind about the abortion.

Abortion advocates in Mexico and the United States took the girl’s case and sued in local courts with no success. They later took the case, the Times reported, to the Washington-based Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, a tribunal whose legal authority is recognized in Mexico.