Photo: ULISES RUIZ / AFP / Getty Images
La Paz, Oct 24 (EFE) .- The case of an 11-year-old girl who became pregnant after suffering repeated sexual abuse by her grandmother has caused a stir and a new debate between those who defend the right of the minor to interrupt the pregnancy and those who reject this possibility.
The event was reported in the municipality of Yapacaní, in the eastern region of Santa Cruz, where the minor lived under the care of her 61-year-old grandmother, as her parents traveled constantly for work.
The girl commented to a cousin “that she felt strange movements in her belly, and the cousin tells her mother and that is how the aunt is the one who files the complaint ”for the fact, the executive director of the Women’s House, Ana Paola García, explained to Efe this Sunday.
The aggressor was jailed and the minor, with 21 weeks of gestation, is admitted to a hospital in Santa Cruz.
According to García, at first the mother of the girl requested the interruption of the pregnancy, invoking a constitutional ruling of 2014 that establishes that a victim of sexual violence can have an abortion without the need for a court order and regardless of the gestation period in which it is find.
However, due to the “interference” of an organization belonging to the Catholic Church, the woman gave up the termination of her daughter’s pregnancy, she denounced.
The minor had previously told a medical board that “she does not want to be a mother,” so she was given a first dose of the drug to interrupt the pregnancy, García explained.
But then a lawyer that the religious organization put to the mother presented a withdrawal memorial along with a handwritten letter in which the minor allegedly states that she no longer wants to undergo the procedure, for now paralyzed.
“It is a crime what is being done with this child because in a fair country girls are not mothers,” said García.
STANDARDS AND DATA
Abortion in Bolivia is legal “under conditions of crimes of a sexual nature” since 1970, although before a court order was required for the procedure, Garcia recalled.
As of the 2014 constitutional ruling, legal interruption is allowed “with a simple photocopy of the complaint” and “with the procedure informed to the victim,” he said.
According to García, in 2020 there were 39,999 pregnancies under 18 years old, which means that “104 girls get pregnant per day in Bolivia, of which 6 are under 13 years old.”
“This situation is alarming, sexual violence still plagues Bolivia and girls are still the main victims,” he lamented.
Asked by the media about the case, the Minister of the Interior (Interior), Eduardo Del Castillo, said this Sunday that the minor should be evaluated psychologically and, if she decides to interrupt her pregnancy, “all the material conditions must be generated for her to so do it ”.
“Imagine an 11-year-old girl who has to see her son or daughter as a result of rape every day. We cannot tolerate this type of behavior within our country and we cannot destroy the life of an 11-year-old girl. We must generate the material conditions so that this pregnancy is interrupted if it is defined as such ”, he said.
On the contrary, the Catholic Church advocated in a statement for “saving, caring for and lovingly supporting both lives” and offered “welcome and care for the girl and the little creature in her womb” in a center for adolescent mothers with the corresponding “material, medical, psychological and spiritual” support.
The church expressed its “strongest condemnation of the brutal rape” suffered by the girl, but insisted that “both are independent human lives” because a 5-month-old fetus is already a “well-formed” child that enjoys legal protection and that “A crime is not solved with another crime.”
García insisted that the physical and emotional well-being of the minor should prevail and considered that the State should intervene to ensure her rights. EFE
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.