Argentina Judge Rejects Abortion for 12 Year-Old Girl on Mental Health Grounds

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 29, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Argentina Judge Rejects Abortion for 12 Year-Old Girl on Mental Health Grounds

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 29
, 2008

Buenos Aires, Argentina ( — Although a judge in Australia has allowed an abortion for a 12-year-old girl, another one in Argentina has denied the request and cited mental health ground for doing so.

The Hispanic girl was impregnated through rape but the judge ruled her mother can’t make her have an abortion after hearing evidence that the abortion could cause her mental health problems.

Justice Germán Ferrer noted that expert witnesses testified that "after analyzing the whole situation, above all the psychological and social aspects of the child, [the experts] came to the conclusion that today the interruption of the pregnancy could produce a personality disturbance in the child that could result in irreversible psychiatric pathologies such as psychosis.”

The Elliot Institute says it is not surprised the judge noted the psychological issues involved.

“Indeed, evidence suggests that, in addition to causing the death of her unborn child, abortion is likely to harm, not help, this girl and others like her,” the group noted.

The group cites one of the only studies done on women who became pregnant from sexual assault showing that nearly 80 percent of the women who aborted a pregnancy conceived in sexual assault reported that abortion had been the wrong solution.

The study, done in 1995 and published in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders finds most women who had abortions said that abortion only increased the trauma they were experiencing.

In many cases, the victim faced strong pressure or demands to abort and in some cases, especially those involving teenage girls, was even forced to have the abortion by others and none of the women who gave birth to a child conceived in sexual assault expressed regret or wished they had aborted instead.

“Further the survey found that in almost all the cases where the victim became pregnant through incest, abortion was chosen by the perpetrator to cover up the incest and the victim rarely, if ever, had a say in the matter,” the Elliot Institute noted.

“And studies of women who had unintended first pregnancies found that women who aborted were more likely than those who carried to term to have subsequent depression,2 anxiety3 and substance abuse,” the group added.

Other research found that teens who abort an unintended pregnancy are more likely to experience negative mental health outcomes than are teens who carry the unintended pregnancy to term, the study noted, too.

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