This story is just disturbing. Moreover, it goes to show the devastating consequences that legal restrictions on late-term abortions can have on the lives of women around the world. Although abortion is legal in the case of rape, termination must still occur within the first 90 days of the pregnancy. The problem here is that this young woman was probably never informed of her rights to terminate the pregnancy. When she finally did figure it out — she was one month past the 90 day limit and refused access to a safe and legal abortion. CNN reports,
A pregnant 10-year-old, allegedly raped by her stepfather, has become the latest lightning rod in the country’s heated abortion debate.
The girl’s stepfather has been arrested. But advocates on both sides of the issue say their battle is just beginning.
“This girl is much more than an isolated case,” said Adriana Ortiz-Ortega, a researcher at Mexico’s National Autonomous University who has written two books on abortion in Mexico, “and there is much more influence now from conservative groups that are trying to prevent the legalization of abortion.”
Abortion is legal in Mexico’s capital city, but prohibited or significantly restricted in most of the country’s states. The girl’s home state of Quintana Roo, on the Yucatan peninsula, allows abortion in cases of rape during the first 90 days of the pregnancy. But the 10-year-old girl is at 17½ weeks, nearly a month past that limit.
Advocacy groups are calling for federal officials and the United Nations to investigate Quintana Roo’s handling of the matter, claiming officials did not inform her of her abortion rights.
“We don’t know what is happening, and the institution that is supposed to provide support and care for these minors hasn’t been transparent. We’re really asking for accountability,” said Maria Luisa Sanchez Fuentes, director of the Information Group on Reproductive Choice.
State Attorney General Francisco Alor Quezada said he did not know whether officials had told the girl she had the option of pursuing an abortion, and he did not know how far the girl was into her pregnancy when her mother reported the assault to authorities last month.
He said the girl is in the custody of state protective services, and officials are closely monitoring her physical and psychological care.
Andrew (AJ) is a vehement progressive, youth activist, and reproductive justice organizer. When he's not busy with the movement, you can usually find him dancing in the club or watching trashy reality tv.