Friday, May 20, 2022

ARGENTINA | 16-01-2019 17:59

In Jujuy: 12-year-old girl's pregnancy prompts fresh abortion row

Argentina's Senate voted down a bill to legalise safe, legal and free abortions in August.

A 12-year-old girl's pregnancy has prompted a fresh row in Jujuy province over the legalisation of abortion.

Local doctors are refusing to carry out the procedure, which the girl's family has requested, claiming there would be a "danger to the life of the mother" if the abortion were to proceed. She is reportedly 23-weeks pregnant.

Adding to the dram in the conservative northern province, the Fundación Más Vida, a pro-life group, lodged an injunction with Jujuy's courts on Wednesday to stop any related medical intervention on the girl.

During the day, pro-life groups clashed with abortion activists outside the Hospital Materno Infantil "Héctor Quintana".

"Doctors and the Judiciary are again condemning an abused child", the girl's lawyer Marta Paniagua told reporters.

Her family initially responded to anti-abortion activists, telling the media "she is still within the timeframe to carry out the abortion and the continued pregnancy is also a risk" to her life.

The 12-year-old was allegedly raped by her a neighbour who "threatened to kill her and her family if she told anyone what happened".


A similar case rocked neighbouring Salta province in May, just weeks before the Lower House vote on an abortion decriminalisation bill, which ultimately failed to pass the Senate.

A 10-year-old girl in Salta province expressed her desire to continue with her five-month pregnancy with the support of her family. Her situation made national headlines after her mother took her to hospital over stomach pains. When doctors confirmed her 21-week pregnancy, the girl confessed that she had been raped by her stepfather.

There are 2,700 births to “girl mothers” between 10 and 14 years old each year in Argentina, according to UNICEF data, which equates to 3.6 percent of all births in the country.


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