Argentina: 15-year-old girl denied abortion after being raped by step father

Amnesty International says verdict violates girl’s human rights  
 

A 15-year-old girl, who is pregnant after being raped by her step-father, has been denied the right to an abortion by a court in southern Argentina – a move that Amnesty International believes violates her fundamental human rights.

The girl has suffered many years of sexual abuse from her stepfather – a fact that was revealed to the authorities once she found that she was pregnant.

Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK, said:

“Amnesty International believes that any denial of safe, legal abortion in rape cases constitutes a violation of human rights. It is a way of doubly victimising girls and Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights who have already suffered at the hands of their sexual aggressors.

“Amnesty International considers the involvement of the judicial system in cases such as this to be unwarranted. As shown in this case, judicial involvement also causes unacceptable delays in decisions about abortions. The girl is now 23 weeks pregnant.

“Amnesty International is calling on its supporters to write to the provincial health authorities as a matter of urgency, calling on them to provide the health care, including abortion and psychosocial care, sought by the girl in this case, in line with her wishes.”

In February, the mother of the girl made a formal request to the Comodoro Rivadavia Regional Hospital in the southern Argentinean province of Chubut asking for her daughter to be given an abortion.

That request was denied – the hospital arguing that the case did not fall under the permitted exceptions to the prohibition of abortion in the Argentinean Criminal Code. These exceptions allow abortion in cases in which the life or health of the woman is at risk.

The case was then taken to the Comodoro Rivadavia Second Family Court, where a group of doctors from the Comodoro Rivadavia Regional Hospital advised that the abortion was still medically possible.

However, on 12 March, the judge rejected the abortion request on the grounds that the rights of the foetus prevailed over the rights of the pregnant girl to life and health, arguing that both the girl and the foetus are vulnerable.

In another similar case, a judge from the Chubut Supreme Court ruled that a girl (“A G”) could have an abortion, overturning the decision of a lower court judge, upheld at appeal. A G has now had an abortion

  • Take action - Send an appeal letter to the Health Secretary in Chubut
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