Sat, Aug 15, 2015 - Page 7 News List

Paraguay makes 11-year-old rape victim give birth

AP, ASUNCION

An 11-year-old girl who was denied an abortion after being raped gave birth on Thursday, the culmination of a case that put a spotlight on child rape in the poor South American nation and drew criticism from human rights groups.

Elizabeth Torales, a lawyer for the girl’s mother, said that the minor gave birth to a baby girl via caesarean section in a Red Cross hospital in Asuncion. She said reported there were no complications and both the mother and baby were resting.

“The baby doesn’t yet have a name,” said Torales, who added that her client and the girl’s grandmother had requested custody of the infant.

Hospital director Mario Villalba told reporters outside the hospital that the birth took about 35 minutes. She said the girl would remain in the hospital for three or four days, “like any other patient who has had a caesarean.”

She said the minor was currently accompanied by her grandmother, but declined to give more details.

The girl was allegedly raped and impregnated by her stepfather when she was 10. The stepfather has been arrested and is awaiting trial. The girl’s mother has been charged with negligence.

The mother requested an abortion for her daughter, but the government refused to allow it, drawing praise from religious groups, but criticism from many human rights organizations, including UN officials.

Paraguay bans abortion except when a mother’s life is in danger.

At the time, the girl was five months pregnant and local health officials said she appeared to be in fine health.

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