11-year-old gives birth after being denied abortion

Asuncion, Aug 14 (IANS) An 11-year-old girl gave birth to a baby girl in Paraguay’s capital, in a case that has sparked outrage from numerous observers.

When the case broke earlier this year, it was widely reported that the girl had been raped by her stepfather when she was 10. The man has since been charged and has a court case pending.

The 11-year-old’s mother is facing charges of negligence, which will most likely impact her bid for custody of the newborn, reported Xinhua.

However, worse news yet came after the government turned down a petition by the mother on behalf of the pregnant girl for an abortion.

Paraguay takes a very stringent line on abortion, ruling it out in all cases except when the mother’s life is in danger.

Following the birth, Amnesty International released a statement, expressing relief that the mother and the child are healthy, but slamming the government.

It said that “the fact she did not die does not excuse the human rights violations she suffered”.

Teenage pregnancy is rampant in Paraguay, according to a doctor two 12-year-old girls were also awaiting birth.

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