To say that I was appalled and dumbfounded when I read about this poor little child is probably the biggest understatement I have ever made. And then to continue reading, from various sources, of the circumstances surrounding the birth just sent me into an almost insensate rage.
The little girl was taken to hospital in Puebla, 31 weeks into a pregnancy, and suffering from life-threatening complications and issues, which included seizures. Her baby boy, weighing 3.3lb, was born by Caesarean section, and is in intensive care, suffering from pneumonia. He is said to be doing well. The little mother, who is recovering well also, visits the hospital to breastfeed her baby.
The baby's father is unknown. There is an investigation underway to determine who assaulted the little girl.
My sheer rage is directed at the Mexican authorities and a group named Vida Humana Internacional. This organisation promotes the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church in Spanish-speaking countries, and supports strict anti-abortion laws. They argue that even if it is a case of sexual assault, or when pregnancy poses health risks to the mother (even a 10 year old), abortion is an immoral act.
"In the end, the child at any stage of development has all the rights of any other human being and may not be directly and voluntarily killed," Magaly Llaguno, the Executive Director of VHI, told The Christian Post in an email.
She added: "Such an act is, as John Paul II emphasized, 'always gravely immoral.' Increasingly so, the default position of physicians today is to recommend a direct abortion. But such a moral evil is never necessary as the death of a child never brings about the health of a woman."
Magaly Llaguno is obviously not educated. To have made such a ridiculous statement - and publicly, shows that she is totally in ignorance of the risks to the health of little girls who are forced by her bigotry to undergo the ordeal of pregnancy and giving birth.
There are severe health risks faced by mothers under 16 years of age. According to Time magazine, they are four times more likely to die during childbirth and are more susceptible to developing anemia, postpartum hemorrhage, depression and other mental disorders.
Due to the difficulties of child labor, minors who give birth also make up 65 percent of the women who develop obstetric fistula - a devastating condition in which a hole develops in the birth canal, causing an uncontrollable leakage of urine and faeces into the vagina.
So much for "the death of a child never brings about the health of a woman." Perhaps she should have consulted a few physicians before she made that stupid statement. One out of eight children in Mexico currently works.
The unfortunate circumstances in Mexico are that approximately 90% of the population is Catholic, and are thus influenced by the Roman Catholic church's stance regarding abortion. Individual states in Mexico are able to decide their own laws regarding abortion, and some states, such as Puebla, where the 10-year-old girl lives, prohibit the procedure unless the woman can prove the pregnancy is a result of sexual assault. I would be interested to see how a 10 year old could 'prove' sexual assault?
Lawmakers from the state of Puebla approved an anti-abortion amendment in 2009, which says life begins "from the moment of conception to natural death, except in cases foreseen by law." Sixteen of Mexico's 31 states have similar abortion laws.
It appears glaringly obvious what is going to happen in countries with these draconian laws. Many women and girls will put their lives at risk by undergoing illegal abortions in unsavoury, insanitary conditions. Many will die.
Mexico City's governmental Human Rights Commission said the country's abortion laws "will worsen the serious public health problem of clandestine abortions in unhealthy conditions"
This is not the first birth to a little girl in a Latin American country, nor will it be the last. Which is totally unacceptable, and a searing indictment of the anti-abortion laws in countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Abortion is illegal in all circumstances in El Salvador and Nicaragua.