Teen Rape Victim in Mexico Denied Abortion Access

Judge says sex with 13-year-old was 'consensual' act of 'sexual coercion,' not rape
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2016 2:32 PM CDT
Teen Rape Victim in Mexico Denied Abortion Access
A woman holds up a sign that reads in Spanish "safe abortion" during a demonstration in favor of the legalization of abortion in Mexico City on Aug. 5, 2010.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

(Newser) – A young Mexican teen who was raped by a family acquaintance is trying to end the pregnancy that resulted from that crime. But although abortion in the state of Sonora is permissible only in rape cases, a judge has ruled that the encounter was "consensual" and that the crime against the 13-year-old should be classified as "sexual coercion" due to seduction, not rape, the Guardian and Telegraph report. This despite the fact that the girl, named only as Citlali, reported the assault to the cops right after the May 16 incident, and medical documentation backed up her claims based on physical evidence. A state health agency is adhering to the judge's ruling and refusing to allow the girl to get an abortion, which has riled advocacy groups.

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"She has the right as the victim of sexual aggression to end the pregnancy," says the head of the Group for Information on Reproductive Choice, per the AP. "The classification of the crime doesn't matter." Child rape is a prevalent problem in Mexico, where 25% of girls are assaulted before they turn 18, per a 2014 Executive Commission of Attention to Victims report—yet more than a dozen states have made it harder to get abortions since 2008, when Mexico City started offering unfettered first-trimester terminations. And Mexico City is where the girl may have to go to get an abortion now. "This has been enough to convince authorities in other states with the same criminal code, so why not in Sonora?" the girl's lawyer from GIRE says. (An 11-year-old rape victim gave birth in Paraguay.)

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