An 11-year-old Paraguay girl, raped and impregnated at age 10, has given birth to a healthy baby.
An 11-year-old Paraguay girl, allegedly raped by her 42-year-old stepfather, has given birth by Cesarean section to a 7-pound, 13-ounce infant. The girl, who was 10 at the time of the assault, was denied an abortion under strict Paraguay laws that say terminating a pregnancy is allowed only when there is risk to the mother’s health, drawing international attention to her plight. The country’s abortion laws are some of the strictest in the world.
Amnesty International said forcing the child to continue with “an extremely risky” pregnancy was “tantamount to torture.” An Amnesty spokesperson told CNN that, although mother and child are in good condition, the human rights violations the 11-year-old suffered at the hands of her country’s authorities who gambled with her health are not excused.
The child’s pregnancy was discovered in May when she experienced abdominal pain and her mother took her to the hospital. The girl’s mother, who has remained at her daughter’s bedside for the last 10 days, was charged with neglect and released on bond in June. She said that she was the one who reported the abuse, but a health official speaking to CNN disputed that claim, saying it was actually neighbors who alerted authorities, saying the mother denied that any abuse had occurred.
The girl’s stepfather, Gilberto Benitez Zarate, is awaiting trial for charges of child abuse and rape. When arrested he claimed to be infertile. He has asked for DNA tests.
Elizabeth Torales, an attorney for the girl’s mother, said that her client has requested custody of the baby, who does not yet ave a name. There were reportedly no complications in the birth, and mother and baby are resting comfortably.