The family of an 11-year-old girl who became pregnant after her 61-year-old step-grandfather allegedly raped her has refused to allow her to have an abortion.
The young girl, who cannot be named by name for legal reasons, is more than five months pregnant.
She was allegedly raped by her stepfather’s parent, who is half a century older than her, in the Bolivian city of Yapacaní, near Santa Cruz, in the center of the South American country.
The girl’s family had initially accepted the abortion, but over the weekend changed their mind and signed their consent to continue the pregnancy.
Women’s House chief Ana Paola García told EFE newspaper that the young girl said to one of her cousins ”she felt strange movements in her stomach.”
The family of an 11-year-old girl who became pregnant after her 61-year-old step-grandfather allegedly raped her has refused to allow her to have an abortion. Family lawyer Giovanni Cabello (pictured) announced the decision to reporters in Bolivia
The nephew told her mother, the 11-year-old girl’s aunt, who filed a complaint with the police.
“She doesn’t want to be a mother,” García said.
“What is being done to this creature is a crime.”
She added that the victim had been given a first dose of the pregnancy termination medication.
“It’s not possible for us to force an 11-year-old girl to have a nine-month gestational age, that’s torture.”
García said there were 39,999 pregnancies of children under 18 in Bolivia in 2020, an average of 109 girls per day.
The 11-year-old was allegedly raped by her stepfather’s father, who is half a century older than her, in the Bolivian city of Yapacaní (pictured), near Santa Cruz, in the center of the South American country.
“This situation is alarming, sexual violence still plagues Bolivia and girls remain the main victims,” she added.
Abortion has been legal in Bolivia since 1970 in cases of alleged rape or assault.
However, since a constitutional ruling in 2014, it can only be done without a court order.
Since then, only a document signed by the victim informing her about the abortion procedure is required.
The family’s decision may have been influenced by the Catholic Church in Bolivia, who said that “the only solution is to save, nurture and lovingly support both lives.”
The church added: “A crime is not solved with another crime, abortion does not solve rape, nor does it give peace of mind, on the contrary, it leaves more serious psychological wounds for a long time.”
Bolivian Interior Minister Eduardo del Castillo (pictured) said: ‘We cannot tolerate this kind of behavior in our country and we cannot destroy the life of an 11-year-old girl’
The decision of the young girl’s family was announced by their lawyer, Giovanni Cabello, to the news site Page Siete.
She said: ‘The maternity ward and the whole team work according to the will of the family.’
About the condition of the girl, the lawyer said ‘she is in sufficient condition, she is calm’.
She added that the young girl received “all necessary care so that the mother and unborn baby are healthy.”
The decision not to terminate the pregnancy is reportedly against the wishes of the girl’s doctors and the judicial authorities.
Her step-grandfather is in custody in Montero Prison, north of Santa Cruz, and is charged with aggravated rape of a girl.
The 61-year-old’s alleged assaults are believed to have started last May when the 11-year-old and her 15-year-old sister lived under his care while their parents made a living in the capital, La Paz.
The 11-year-old and her 15-year-old sister had been living in the suspect’s care since last February because their parents worked respectively in the capital, La Paz, as cooks and masons.
The girl locked herself in her room in an attempt to evade the attacks, which allegedly started in May last year.
There are conflicting statements for and against continuing the pregnancy, allegedly written by the 11-year-old girl and her mother.
The 11-year-old was determined to be 21 weeks pregnant after an ultrasound was done by doctors.
The young was being cared for at the Percy Boland Maternity Hospital in Santa Cruz, a two and a half hour drive from Yapacaní.
Bolivian Interior Minister Eduardo del Castillo said the girl would have to undergo psychological testing if she wanted to continue with her pregnancy.
He said: ‘Imagine an 11-year-old girl who has to see her son or daughter every day because of rape.
“We cannot tolerate this kind of behavior in our country and we cannot destroy the life of an 11-year-old girl.
“We need to generate the material conditions so that this pregnancy is interrupted if defined as such.”
The representative of Yapacaní’s children’s ombudsman, Silvia Suazo, said: ‘The girl is rejecting the baby. Besides, she doesn’t even dare to say “baby”.
“She wants to study and get on with her life, she’s very scared and nervous.”
Meanwhile, the Ombudsman’s former representative in Santa Cruz Hernán Cabrera criticized the church and pro-life groups in Bolivia.
He said: ‘She was brutally raped. The Church begs the name of God for the baby’s life, while that girl suffers, hurts everything and doesn’t want that “life” in her womb.
“Those who call themselves pro-life say that life cannot be killed, but it is already unjustly dead.
“She was shattered by a violent, erect penis from a human beast. She is one of many abused, raped and pregnant girls.’