An 11-year-old Giving Birth after being Raped: Say YES to Abortion Rights

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On February 27th, Eva Perón hospital in Argentina carried out a Caesarean section on one of the youngest patients it has ever had. She was an eleven-year-old girl who was called “Lucía” to protect her identity. Lucía was sexually abused by her grandmother’s spouse when she was ten. She discovered her pregnancy “on 23 January at a first-aid [center] in her hometown in the northern province of Tucumán”

Photo via Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images

During one of her treatments with a Psychologist, Lucía stated that “I want you to take this thing that the old man put in out of my body.” Her idea of abortion was also supported by her mother and many others. Although abortion remained illegal in Argentina, “a 1921 law allows it to be performed in cases of rape or when a woman’s life is in danger.” Both of these conditions applied to that of Lucía’s. However, this was disapproved by the Minister of Health Department, who argued that Lucía was safe enough to give birth. He thus tried to appeal to a “maternal instinct.” After over one month of arguing between these two sides, the Health Department finally conceded. But Lucía was already pregnant for 23 weeks at that time; it was no longer safe for abortion. She had to give birth.

The caesarean operation soon took place. Fortunately, the operation was a success, and Lucía was in a stable condition. But the whole process created unrecoverable mental and emotional damages. Cecilia Ousset, the doctor who performed the procedure, said that “My legs trembled when I saw her, it was like seeing my younger daughter. The little girl didn’t understand completely what was going to happen.” Moreover, for the child whom she gave birth to, the possibility of living remained low due to premature birth.

This is merely one case of an abortion-related controversy. One of the most heated discussions in Afghanistan since several years ago has been the legalization of abortion rights. Hundreds, even thousands of activists, protested during “Green Action Day for the right to Abortion.” They argued that not implementing this bill is an action that violates human rights; more people are going to suffer as a result. These activists are not the minority. According to Mariela Belski, Argentina’s Amnesty International director, “a survey had shown 60% support for the bill and described its failure as “an unforgivable step [backward].”

Featured Image via Juan Mabromata / AFP

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