The girl, identified as Mila, was moved away from her family to ensure her safety
An 11-year-old girl has been denied an abortion in Peru after she was raped by her stepfather.
The young girl, given the pseudonym Mila to protect her identity, found out last month that she was 13 weeks pregnant after being abused by her father.
The primary school child from Iquitos, the capital of the region of Loreto in the Amazon Rainforest, was found to have been continually assaulted by her stepfather since the age of six.
Peruvian authorities detained the stepfather but he was shortly released after a court denied a request for preventative detention.
Mila was moved to a shelter by Loreto authorities and moved away from her family to ensure her safety. Her three siblings, including a four-month-old baby, were also sent to the same shelter.
Mila’s mother, who also retains her anonymity, has since said she was also abused by the stepfather and was not able to help her daughter because he had threatened to kill her.
‘I was afraid because he threatened me, he shut the door on me. When I wanted to go out, he told me: ”If you tell the neighbors, I’m going to kill you, and I’m going to run off”,’ Mila’s mother told Peru’s Epicentro TV.
‘When I talk about him, I am afraid. I have nightmares.’
The mother said the regional authority, the Loreto Special Protection Unit (UPE), did not provide any information about how Mila could access a safe abortion despite making a request for the termination of the pregnancy, El Pais reported.
Peru’s Center for the Promotion and Defense of Sexual and Reproductive Rights (PROMSEX) took on the case. At this point, the mother said UPE referred Mila to Loreto’s regional hospital so that the board of directors could decide whether the child could access an abortion.
But the hospital board decided that Mila had to continue with the pregnancy, claiming the 11-year-old had told them she did not want to terminate the pregnancy.
They also said rape cases did not come under legislation concerning therapeutic abortions – a medical abortion conducted because it endangers the mother’s life.
Despite the board’s claims, the United Nations Population Fund identifies children under the age of 15 as being three times more likely to die from pregnancy related issues.
PROMSEX urged authorities to look at the case again, leading the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations to agree that a new medical board will reexamine the case.
‘I want it taken out of her womb. I do want to see my daughter, but I don’t want to see that baby because it has hurt my daughter,’ the mother told the Peru broadcaster.
A joint statement signed by a number of international organisations – including Peru’s office for the United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees (UNHCR) and UN Women – expressed severe concern for the child and called upon Peru’s government to take action.
‘We urge you to reconsider the decision to deny her access to therapeutic abortion and guarantee Mila, and all pregnant girls and teenage victims of sexual violence, this right – with safe and age-appropriate procedures – and within 22 weeks of gestation, as established by medical protocol,’ the statement read.
‘We remind you that forced maternity resulting from rape is not voluntary, and threatens integral health.’
It comes after a 13-year-old indigenous girl identified as Camila was also denied an abortion after being raped by a family member.
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in June ruled that the Peruvian government had violated the rights of Camila and had not provided her with the necessary information on how she could access a safe abortion.
The UN ruling urged Peru to decriminalise abortion in all cases of child pregnancy and provide protection for victims to ensure they did not have to undergo the trauma again.
Source : Daily Mail