11-Year-Old Rape Victim Gives Birth

Case of girl abused by stepfather divided Paraguay
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2015 3:12 AM CDT
Updated Aug 14, 2015 6:56 AM CDT
11-Year-Old Rape Victim Gives Birth
A child holds a sign that reads in Spanish "Sexual child abuse never again, screams without voice," at a demonstration in front of the Attorney General's office in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay.   (AP Photo/Peter Prengaman)

An 11-year-old rape victim in Paraguay is now a mother. The girl, whose case caused a fierce debate on abortion that divided the country, gave birth to a healthy baby girl at a hospital in Asuncion yesterday, CNN reports. The infant was delivered via C-section and weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces. The now-mother was 10 when authorities say she was raped by her stepfather, even after he had been reported for sexual abuse. But even though pregnancy can be very risky in girls that young and Amnesty International said forcing her to continue the pregnancy was "tantamount to torture," she was denied an abortion under strict laws that say the procedure is only allowed when there is a risk to the mother's health. The girl and her baby are in good condition, but that "does not excuse the human rights violations she suffered at the hands of the Paraguayan authorities, who decided to gamble with her health, life, and integrity," an Amnesty spokeswoman tells CNN.

The girl's mother has been charged with neglect; she was released on bond in June and has been at her daughter's bedside these last 10 days, reports the Guardian. The 32-year-old says she was the one who reported the abuse (CNN says in November 2013; the Guardian says as early as January 2014); but a health official told CNN neighbors actually alerted authorities and claims the mother denied the abuse. The girl's stepfather, who claimed to be infertile when he was arrested, is awaiting trial. A doctor at the hospital where the 11-year-old gave birth says two 12-year-old girls and several young teens are waiting to give birth, the BBC reports. "You must invest in education," he says. There is nothing else to be done." (More Paraguay stories.)

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