10-Year-Old Girl Denied Abortion After Being Abused By Step-Father

A 10-year-old Paraguay girl has been impregnated by her stepfather, as a result of him raping her. She was admitted to a hospital last month for a "tumor," which turned out to be her unborn child.

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The young girl's mother has been arrested for helping her husband Gilberto Benitez Zarate flee from law enforcement after it was found out that he'd been raping his 10-year-old stepdaughter.

Abortion is against the law in Paraguay unless the mother's life is in danger. That could be the case here since the girl is just 10 years old. Her mother asked a judge to convene a team of medical experts to see if abortion would be necessary to save her daughter's life. the judge denied the request.

The country's Health Minister (who is also a pediatrician) said an abortion was out of the question since the girl is said to be in her 23rd week. The head of the hospital said the 10-year-old would have a c-section to avoid complications. This poor girl -- raped, pregnant, and major surgery. Not to mention the emotional and pyschological aspects of all this.

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And sadly, it seems as though child sexual abuse isn't a rare occurrence in Paraguay. The United Nations Children's Fund said Wednesday:

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.

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.

Amnesty International has launched a social media campaign, "#NinaEnPeligro" (Girl in Danger), alleging that that the girl's human rights have been violated by forcing her to carry the baby to term. She is currently receiving medical and psychological care at a local Red Cross hospital.

I don't want this girl to have an abortion. I want her not to have been raped by her stepfather. This whole situation is heartbreaking from any way you look at it. Let's take the abortion aspect off the table, and deal with the heinous crime her stepfather committed, shall we?

Does this crime horrify you?

 

Image via Frank de Kleine/Flickr

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