In Argentina, an 11-year old rape survivor was forced to give birth this week after fighting for the right to an abortion. At 23 weeks pregnant, she underwent a cesarean section however the baby is not expected to survive.
The girl, who has been given the name Lucia to protect her identity, attempted suicide twice after she was raped by her grandmother’s 65 year old partner. She told psychologists at the hospital “I want you to remove what the old man put inside me.”
Lucia and her mother had requested an abortion, however the request was delayed for nearly five weeks and some doctors even refused to perform the abortion. Instead, doctors chose to give her a cesarean section as they felt an abortion was dangerous for her health. Argentina law does not allow for abortions except for cases of rape or when the mother’s health is at risk.
In August, the Argentine Senate rejected a bill that would have allowed abortion in the first 14 weeks. However, Senators are open to seeing other abortion bills. The President of Argentina is also considering decriminalizing abortion as women currently seeking abortions in Argentina face jail time.
Argentina is one of the many countries reconsidering its abortion laws. Colombia, Peru, and Chile all allow abortions cases of rape and incest. In 2012, Uruguay joined Cuba as the only Latin American countries that have decriminalized abortions.
Media Resources: Washington Post 2/28/19; The Guardian 3/1/19; BBC 2/28/19; Washington Post 8/9/18; The Guardian 8/9/18