A healthy baby girl

A not very blesséd event.

An 11-year-old girl, who according to authorities was raped by her stepfather, gave birth to a healthy baby girl Thursday morning in Asunción, Paraguay.

That’s because Paraguay prevented her from having an abortion. Paraguay forced her to carry a baby to term at age 11 and to have major abdominal surgery to deliver it.

If that baby has the bad luck to be raped in ten years and to get pregnant via the rape…she too will be forced to carry the child to term, unless Paraguay changes the law.

The pregnancy was discovered in late April when the mother took her daughter to the hospital after the girl complained of abdominal pain.

The mother wanted the girl to have an abortion. Human rights groups, especially Amnesty International, supported her position.

“The physical and psychological impact of forcing this young girl to continue with an unwanted pregnancy is tantamount to torture,” Guadalupe Marengo, Deputy Director for the Americas at Amnesty International said then. “The Paraguayan authorities cannot sit idly by while this young rape survivor is forced to endure more agony and torment.”

But Paraguayan authorities refused. Health minister Antonio Barrios said that, even in this case, an abortion would be a violation of Paraguayan law.

“We’re totally against interrupting the pregnancy,” Barrios said in May. “The girl is getting assistance permanently in a shelter and the pregnancy is progressing normally without a problem.”

She is eleven. She was raped, she was made pregnant without consent, and she was forced to bear the infant she didn’t consent to conceiving. At age eleven.

Paraguay has one of the strictest abortion laws in the world. It bans abortions except in cases where the pregnancy endangers the mother’s life. In the case of the 11-year-old, doctors ruled that, in spite of her age, the pregnancy did not endanger her life. Violation of the law carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

According to a 2013 United Nations report, 2 million girls under age 14 give birth in developing countries every year, many of whom suffer resulting long-term or fatal health problems. It estimated that 70,000 adolescents die each year from complications from pregnancy or childbirth.

In Paraguay, 684 girls between the ages of 10 and 14 gave birth last year. Most of the minors had been victims of sexual abuse, according to government figures.

Well that’s enough to make you throw up.

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