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11-year-old Paraguayan delivers a baby girl

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The plight of victims of child rape in Paraguay, a poor South American nation, is highlighted even more starkly. The latest incident of an 11 year old girl, who was raped and then denied an abortion, gave birth to a baby girl.

This case highlighted the nation’s take on such issues and invited criticism from various human rights organisations. The press was informed by Elizabeth Torales, the victim’s mother’s lawyer that the minor girl delivered via a caesarean in Asuncion, capital of Paraguay’s, Red Cross hospital. No complications were reported and the baby and the mother were resting.

The mother of the victim and the girl’s grandmother requested custody of the baby who is yet to be named. Mario Villalba, the director of the hospital informed gathered reporters that the birthing process took 35 minutes and the girl will need to be in hospital for 3 to 4 days which is necessary for any caesarean patient. The minor’s mother was accompanied by her grandmother.

The stepfather of the girl allegedly impregnated the girl by raping her when she was 10 years old. Post this that stepfather has been arrested and awaited trial while the mother of the girl faces negligence charges.

Requests made by the mother for an abortion were refused by the Government which drew praises from religious groups but human rights groups like UN officials criticised it. In Paraguay abortion is banned unless the life of the mother is in danger. When the local officials checked the girl she was five months pregnant and in good health.

Amnesty International felt that even though the girl went through the delivery well the incident did not excuse the violation she suffered to her human rights thanks to the Paraguayan authorities.

This case did not give rise to abortion related discussions in Paraguay, which is socially conservative but protection of children from abuse was definitely highlighted. In the country of 6.8million close to 600 girls aged 14 and under get pregnant every year. Thus stricter penalties for the accused are suggested as well as awareness programs to guide parents and authorities to identify signs of abuse.

Latin Women’s Commission spokeswoman, Norma Benitez promised efforts to force the government to provide safe environment to the girl and her mother and grandmother as it is the country’s duty to protect its children by providing a decent life and home.



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