Even amongst those who are ambivalent about abortion, the vast majority would support allowing a woman to have an abortion if she was raped. There is also greater support when pregnancy threatens the life of a pregnant woman. (Although a small percentage of survey respondents and website commentators always seem to be “okay” with forcing a pregnancy to continue that kills both the mother and child.) So what happens when there is a case that might make the anti-choice forces rethink their beliefs about forced pregnancy?
Such is the sad but very real case in Mexico of a 10-year-old girl who was raped and impregnated by her stepfather.
As CNN points out:
The Roman Catholic Church vocally opposes abortion in Mexico, and the topic has long been controversial there. The debate has been particularly heated since 2007, when the nation’s more liberal capital city approved a law legalizing abortion during the first three months of pregnancy with no restrictions. That decision was challenged and ultimately upheld by the country’s Supreme Court in 2008.
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Since 2007, 17 states have passed laws “protecting life beginning at conception,” according to the Information Group on Reproductive Choice. Legislators in Quintana Roo, which is also is home to the popular resort city of Cancun, approved such changes to its constitution last year.
But even the conservative state of Quintana Roo allows abortions for reasons of rape, but only up until 90 days into a pregnancy. The girl is reportedly now at 17 and a half weeks which puts her beyond the legal limit even for an abortion in Mexico City.
Advocacy groups say the handling of the girl’s case by the authorities may have complicated her situation by not informing her of her rights.
“We don’t know what is happening, and the institution that is supposed to provide support and care for these minors hasn’t been transparent. We’re really asking for accountability,” said Maria Luisa Sanchez Fuentes, director of the Information Group on Reproductive Choice.
So why don’t we examine how some of the usual anti-choice media outlets are covering this story.
The Catholic News Agency calls her 11 years old (even though all other news reports refer to the girl as 10):
Various media outlets in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo reported this week that an 11-year-old who is almost 18 weeks pregnant is no longer in the hands of feminist groups who were pressuring her to undergo an abortion. The girl is now receiving proper medical care for herself and her baby.
The local press also noted that several private and state institutions have offered assistance to the girl and her mother, Zeyda Morales. However, feminist groups continue demanding she be granted the “right to abortion,” which they consider to be the only valid option.
The director of the Latin American office of the Population Research Institute (PRI), Carlos Polo, warned that “in these kinds of cases, pro-abortion organizations always use the same modus operandi (method of operating).”
“First they find a girl who has been raped and they keep her hidden and inaccessible to any kind of assistance. Second, they expose the case to the media without revealing any details of her clinical history.”
He continued: “Third, they center their media message on the idea that the legalization of so-called ‘therapeutic abortion’ is the solution for saving the lives of women. Fourth, they present themselves as the saviors of the life of the mother, and anyone who opposes their pro-abortion demands are quasi-criminals.”
Polo later explained that the PRI regularly researches these kinds of “fabricated cases.” He noted that “In New York, Monica Roca, Lilian Sepulveda and other representatives of the Center for Reproductive Rights have exposed their strategy of ‘developing reproductive rights in Latin America’.”
I’m not sure where the Catholic News Agency is getting its sources but in another story they report that the young girl (whom they say is 11) is refusing to have an abortion.
Despite protests and pressure from feminists and pro-abortion groups, an 11-year-old girl in the Mexican city of Chetumal has refused to undergo an abortion. The young girl explained her decision saying that she understands, “a life is growing in her womb.”
The girl is receiving medical attention at a local clinic, where doctors say the results of psychological tests have been positive. The recent tests, said Lizbeth Gamboa Song, director of the National System for the Comprehensive Development of the Family, show the girl has a proper understanding of the new life within her and of what to expect during the pregnancy.
“She understands what happens before a pregnancy, she knows her womb will grow, she knows at some point her water will break, and she knows how the baby will be born,” Gamboa said.
Oddly I’ve found no other media outlet that confirms the Catholic News Agency’s story.
In Other News: Remember the Nashville school system that shut down a sex education class due to one parent’s complaint, who just happened to be an abstinence motivational speaker? The Tennessean reports that school officials are deciding today whether they can continue the class.
Today, school officials and representatives of Nashville CARES, the agency asked to provide the training, will meet to decide whether the training can restart within the boundaries of state law.
One Hillsboro leadership student said she and her classmates are stunned by the level of attention they’ve attracted.
“There was nothing, absolutely nothing that went on in the class that I was in that would have made me predict that all this might happen,” said Calli Pugh, a junior.
The girl’s mother also agreed.
Teri Pugh, Calli’s mother, said parents had to sign detailed permission slips for their children to participate in the peer education program. The class gave students the vocabulary to talk about their bodies in mature ways and speak frankly but accurately with one another about sex and its risks, she said.
“It’s a huge loss,” Pugh said.
April 21, 2010
Abortion Sparks Fly Around High-Court Vacancy Women’s eNews
State may pay for some RU-486 use The Tennessean
Strategies to cut maternal mortality in India by 75pc Times of India
Bisexual men sue gay group, claim bias Seattle Times
Gay, transgender rights an election-year wedge issue again The Patriot Ledger
Sex education program sparks outcry Toronto Sun
Texas appeals court to consider gay divorce case MiamiHerald.com
Nashville schools to decide fate of sex ed training The Tennessean
Ontario to introduce more explicit sex education in schools Globe and Mail
Birth Control Pills Bring Lawsuits Los Angeles Times
April 20, 2010
The Birth-Control Riddle Wall Street Journal
Waiting for gender pay equity? Only 47 more years to go Terre Haute Tribune Star
Remember Roe? Young Activists Say They’ve Never Forgotten. Newsweek (blog)
Shorter women have unhealthier kids in developing countries, study says Los Angeles Times (blog)