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Thu May 28, 2015, 07:26 PM

Pro-Choice Protesters to Rally in Paraguay After Child Rape Victim Is Denied Abortion

Pro-Choice Protesters to Rally in Paraguay After Child Rape Victim Is Denied Abortion

The Catholic country in which, on average, two children under the age of 16 give birth each day, is facing backlash after authorities ordered a 10-year-old victim of sexual abuse to carry out her pregnancy.

And while the right to abortion is an important concern being voiced in the South American country at this time, other important issues include “the prevalence of child abuse and underage pregnancies,” according to The Guardian. Unfortunately, until now the discussion regarding this topic has centered on “adult violence” rather than on “child health,” Guardian reporters Sarah Boseley and Jonathan Watts point out.

What’s more is that despite the fact that the World Health Organization cites mishandled abortions as the top cause of maternal deaths the world over, the Catholic Church’s strong influence in most of Latin America makes it difficult to pass reforms that could save lives.

From The Guardian:

Despite a plea from the girl’s mother, Paraguayan authorities have ruled that the 10-year-old who is now 25 weeks into the pregnancy must give birth, unless she develops complications that put her life in danger. A medical panel is monitoring her condition.

Pedro Pablo Guanes, a gynaecologist based in Asunción, said the authorities are likely to release a tentative date for the birth soon. One option is for a cesarian section to be carried out in the next few weeks to avoid the biggest risk, which is that the girl’s body may not yet be developed enough to accommodate a fetus in its final stage…Congressmen have proposed raising the maximum sentence for the rape of a minor to 30 years in prison, up from 10 years. But attempts to raise awareness over the issue of sexual abuse have been modest: the government has urged people to wear green ribbons on the National Day Against Child and Adolescent Sexual Abuse on 31 May.

A day earlier, hundreds of demonstrators are expected to attend a march from the Plaza Uruguaya to El Panteón in the capital with banners declaring “My body, my territory, not for use or abuse”. Similar small rallies have been staged every year, but organisers expected double the usual number of marchers this year because of the commotion caused by the 10-year-old’s pregnancy…The situation in Paraguay reflects that across Latin America, where abortion is illegal or severely restricted in most countries. Nicaragua, Chile and El Salvador ban abortion completely, even if the pregnancy threatens the life of both the mother and the foetus.

Read more: http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/pro-choice_protesters_rally_paraguay_child_rape_victim_abortion_20150528

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