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Take action: Urge Paraguayan authorities to provide a safe abortion for 10-year-old rape survivor

Posted: Thu, 07 May 2015 10:24

Take action: Urge Paraguayan authorities to provide a safe abortion for 10-year-old rape survivor

The National Secular Society is urging its supporters to call on Paraguayan authorities to grant an abortion to a 10-year-old-girl who is pregnant after having been raped by her stepfather.

Under the Catholic country's stringent anti-abortion laws, abortion is legal only when the life of the woman or girl is at risk. Despite the high risk this pregnancy poses and her mother's request, access to safe abortion has not been yet provided.

According the Convention on the Rights of the Child the best interest of the child has to always be of primary consideration and states have an obligation under the Convention to ensure access to abortion in these circumstances.

Lilian Soto, a feminist activist at the Centro de Documentación y Estudios (Centre of Documentation and Studies), has accused the Paraguayan judicial system of putting a minor's life at risk because of religious dogma.

She called on the authorities to establish an independent medical committee to evaluate the case free from the influence of religion.

In March 2015 the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights called on Paraguay to review and modify its abortion legislation to ensure its compatibility with other rights such as health and life.

The NSS is asking members and supporters to join Amnesty International's letter writing campaign calling on the Government to intervene to ensure the girl gets all the medical treatment she requires, including the termination of the unwanted pregnancy.

More background is available from Amnesty's action briefing: http://www.secularism.org.uk/uploads/amnesty-action-briefing.pdf

Please write immediately in Spanish or English:

  • Urging the Paraguayan authorities to save the life of this 10-year-old-girl, pregnant as a result of rape by her stepfather, by granting her the abortion her mother has requested;
  • Reminding them that according to UN agencies, a pregnancy poses specific risks and potentially long-term consequences for the physical and mental health of girls;
  • Urging the authorities to carry out an independent and impartial investigation into the rape of the girl and to hold those responsible for the abuse accountable.

Please send appeals before 9 June 2015 to:

Minister of Public Health and Welfare
Ministro de Salud Pública y Bienestar
Dr. Antonio Barrios
Pettirossi Esq. Brasil
Asunción, Paraguay

Fax: +595 21 207 328 Email: ministro@mspbs.gov.py

Salutation: Dear Minister/Estimado Ministro

And

Attorney General
Fiscal General
Dr. Javier Diaz Veron
Chile c/ Ygatimí
Asunción, Paraguay

Phone/Fax: +595 21 415 6152

Email: fdiaz@ministeriopublico.gov.py

Salutation: Dear Attorney General/Estimado Fiscal General

Please also send copies to the Paraguayan Ambassador to the United Kingdom

His Excellency Mr. Miguel A. Solano-López C.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Third Floor, 344 Kensington High Street
London, W14 8NS
United Kingdom

embaparuk@paraguayembassy.co.uk

Tags: abortion, Paraguay