HKUST banner

China Daily

News> World> Content
Friday, March 01, 2019, 18:44
Rape victim, 11, forced to give birth after abortion request delayed
By Xinhua
Friday, March 01, 2019, 18:44 By Xinhua

Activists demanding the legalization of legal, safe and free abortion take part in a demonstration during the so-called "Green Action Day for the Right to Abortion", in front of the National Congress in Buenos Aires on Feb 19, 2019. (Juan MABROMATA / AFP)

BUENOS AIRES - An 11-year-old rape victim in Argentina was forced to prematurely deliver a baby after her request of abortion had been delayed for several weeks, sparking an outcry by pro-choice campaigners across the country.

The girl's nightmare started when her grandmother's 65-year-old boyfriend raped her and got her pregnant. But it didn't stop there.

Nineteen weeks into pregnancy, the girl went to a public hospital in Tucuman province, northwest Argentina to request an abortion, according to local reports. However, her request was delayed by about four weeks.

Abortion is generally illegal in Argentina. But the current laws permit abortion in cases of rape or if the mother's health is in danger

The delays meant the pregnancy continued to 23 weeks when doctors decided it was too risky for the girl's health to go ahead with an abortion.

Eventually on Tuesday doctors carried out a C-section on her. The baby is alive but doctors said it has little chance of surviving.

READ MORE: Argentine Senate rejects historic abortion law

Abortion is generally illegal in Argentina. But the current laws permit abortion in cases of rape or if the mother's health is in danger.

Local media said that the delays were caused by confusions over who was the girl's legal guardian.

The grandmother, the girl's then guardian, was stripped off the guardianship for neglect of duty, so she could not provide the necessary consent for the abortion.

The girl's mother was not the 11-year-old's legal guardian either, even though the mother supported her daughter's request.

ALSO READ: Bill to hold referendum on abortion law passed in Ireland

By the time the issue had been settled, the girl was in the 23rd week of her pregnancy.

While human rights groups blamed local health authorities for the ordeal the girl had to endure, Rossana Chahla, the health minister of Tucuman, said the abortion had only been requested Monday, state-run news agency Telam reported.

"I want to tell you and inform you that the health care system never obstructed, nor delayed the abortion," Chahla told reporters.

Abortion is a contentious issue in the Latin American country. Last year, a bill trying to legalize elective abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy was rejected by lawmakers by a narrow margin. 

Share this story

Please click in the upper right corner to open it in your browser !