An 11-year-old girl in Paraguay gave birth on Thursday after falling pregnant from rape, and being denied the right to terminate her pregnancy by doctors and the judiciary, reported Reuters.
Her mother’s former partner is accused of raping the girl, who gave birth with a programmed cesarean at the Red Cross hospital, with a baby girl weighing 3.5 kg.
"A baby girl, weighing 3.5 kilograms (7.7 pounds), was born without any complications or anomalies," said director of the hospital.
Her labour sparked a new debate on abortion in the predominantly Catholic country.
The law in Paraguay only permits abortion if the mother’s life is in danger, thus the girl was not allowed to abort her pregnancy after examination by medical doctors, psychologists and judicial officials.
Almost every day, at least two girls aged between 10 and 14 give birth in the South American country, often after falling pregnant from sexual abuse.
The girl’s mother was accused of trying to hide the assault, prompting her to speak out in defence, saying she was the one who reported the case to authorities and "...reported all of this, asking for justice to be done and hoping that something would be done,” but she claims prosecutors simply “dismissed the case.”
Earlier in June, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights had asked the Paraguayan government to permit the girl to abort her pregnancy.
Authorities are concerned that girls in the country will continue to face child pregnancy, and many other girls will deal with consequences of sexual abuse in such a harsh manner if the Paraguayan government does not do enough to protect victims and decriminalise abortion.
"It is terrifying that her story will remain all too common unless Paraguay does more to protect victims of sexual violence, decriminalize abortion and guarantee the availability of modern contraceptives and access to information about sexual and reproductive rights," said a member of Amnesty International