08/05/2015 – 11-year-old refuses abortion

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The parents of an 11-year-old girl in Uruguay who became pregnant after being raped by her half-sister’s grandfather want her to undergo an abortion, but the girl herself has refused. It is now up to the authorities to decide. The girl’s mental state could be a decisive factor. According to doctors, the 11-year-old, who is 16 weeks pregnant, has learning disabilities and at least a slight mental retardation, which means she is unable to fully understand the consequences of her refusal to abort. The authorities are now debating how to proceed, since the law only permits abortion up until the 12th week of pregnancy, or in the case of rape, up to 14 weeks. The girl has been under observation at a children’s hospital in Montevideo for several weeks. According to a hospital spokesperson, she is completely healthy. The president of the Uruguayan Institute for Children and Adolescents (INAU), Marisa Lindner, says that that authorities could authorise an abortion if it is determined that the girl’s health is at risk. But Mónica Silva, director of the INAU Health Department, claims that there is no legal justification for the procedure since neither the mother’s nor the baby’s life is in danger.