In the pro-life nation of Paraguay in South America, a 10-year-old girl was violently raped and became pregnant by her stepfather. After the incident, her mother was arrested for helping her partner, Gilberto Benitez Zarate (pictured below), escape.
A child protection officer from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said the following about sexual abuse in South America: “In Paraguay, every day two girls between the ages of 10 and 14 give birth. These cases are a consequence of sexual abuse, and in most situations, repeated sexual abuse from which the victims have not received timely, appropriate protection.”
The officer added, “Adolescent girls are not receiving adequate attention. This is our concern and we hope that in light of this case effective measures will be taken to protect them from intra-family violence.”
Now the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR) is demanding that the government allow the girl to receive an abortion even though it’s only legal in their country when the mother’s life is in danger. On June 8th, IACHR issued the government of Paraguay a resolution that stated “the young girl’s rights to life and personal integrity, as well as mental and physical health, have been put at grave risk by the Paraguay government denying her a safe and legal abortion.” According to Buzzfeed News, they’re giving the government 72-hours to respond to their demands.
The vice president of the Global Legal Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights, Lilian Sepúlveda, said, “Denying a young girl essential medical care is nothing short of cruel and inhumane treatment, and a gross violation of her fundamental human rights. The government of Paraguay has disregarded the outcry of voices around the world calling for potentially life-saving care for this young rape survivor. It must not ignore the orders of the Inter-American Commission.”
As LifeNews previously reported, in April the girl’s mother also requested that the child be granted an exception for the abortion. However, the Health Minister of Paraguay, Dr. Antonio Barrios, said that abortion was out of the question since the girl is in her 23rd week of pregnancy. He said, “If there needed to be an abortion, it had to be before the 20th week.”
According to ABC News, the ten-year-old will be giving birth via Caesarean section to prevent complications. The director of the hospital said that 14 girls between the ages of nine and 15 gave birth at the hospital last year and “they all came out fine.”
Pro-abortion writer, Jessica Valenti argued that it’s inhumane to force a ten-year-old child to go through childbirth. She wrote, “Childbirth is a risky enterprise for a healthy grown woman – a woman of reproductive age in Paraguay for example, has a one in 310 chance of dying from complications from labor. For a child, the risks are exponentially worse.”
However, abortion is not safer than childbirth. In fact, during the first year following a late abortion (after 12 weeks) a woman has over three times the risk of death compared to giving birth. Additionally, this doesn’t take into account the psychological danger of abortion. A study in The British Medical Journal reveals that girls who’ve had one or more abortions are ten times more likely to commit suicide than those who never aborted.