The case of an 11-year-old girl who became pregnant in Bolivia after suffering repeated sexual abuse by her grandmother has caused commotion and a new debate in the country, among those who defend the right of the minor to interrupt the pregnancy and those who reject it. .
The incident was reported in the municipality of Yapacaní, in the eastern region of Santa Cruz, where the minor lived under the care of her 61-year-old grandmother, since her parents constantly traveled for work reasons.
The girl commented to a cousin “that she felt strange movements in her belly, and the cousin tells her mother and that is how the aunt is the one who files the complaint” for the event, the executive director of the House of Women, Ana Paola García.
The aggressor was jailed and the minor, 21 weeks pregnant, is admitted to a maternity hospital in Santa Cruz.
“She doesn’t want to be a mother”
According to García, at first the mother of the girl requested the interruption of the pregnancy, taking advantage of a constitutional ruling of 2014 that establishes that a victim of sexual violence can have an abortion without the need for a court order and regardless of the gestation period in which she is .
However, due to the “interference” of an organization belonging to the Catholic Church, the woman gave up the termination of her daughter’s pregnancy, she denounced.
The minor had previously told a medical board that “she does not want to be a mother,” so she was given a first dose of the drug to interrupt the pregnancy, explained García.
But then a lawyer that the religious organization put to the mother presented a withdrawal memorial along with a handwritten letter in which the minor allegedly states that she no longer wants to undergo the procedure, for now paralyzed.
“It is a crime what is being done with this child because in a fair country girls are not mothers,” García said.
Abortion in Bolivia has been legal “under conditions of crimes of a sexual nature” since 1970, although before a court order was required for the procedure, García recalled.
As of the 2014 constitutional ruling, legal interruption is allowed “with a simple photocopy of the complaint” and “with the procedure informed to the victim,” he said.
According to García, in 2020 there were 39,999 pregnancies under 18 years old, which means that “104 girls get pregnant per day in Bolivia, of which six are under 13 years old.”
“This situation is alarming, sexual violence still plagues Bolivia and girls continue to be the main victims,” he lamented.
Asked by the media about the case, the Minister of Government (Interior), Eduardo Del Castillo, said this Sunday that the minor should be evaluated psychologically and if she decides to interrupt her pregnancy ” all the material conditions must be generated for her to do so. make”.
“Imagine an 11-year-old girl who has to see her son or daughter as a result of rape every day. We cannot tolerate this type of behavior within our country and we cannot destroy the life of an 11-year-old girl. We must generate the material conditions so that this pregnancy is interrupted if it is defined as such, “he said.
On the contrary, the Catholic Church advocated in a statement for “saving, caring for and lovingly supporting both lives” and offered “welcome and care for the girl and the little creature in her womb” in a center for adolescent mothers with the corresponding “material, medical, psychological and spiritual” support.
The church expressed its “strongest condemnation of the brutal rape” suffered by the girl, but insisted that “both are independent human lives” because a 5-month-old fetus is already a “well-formed” child that enjoys legal protection and that “A crime is not solved with another crime.”
García insisted that the physical and emotional well-being of the minor should prevail and considered that the State should intervene to ensure her rights.