(CNN) – An epidemic of toddler being pregnant in Paraguay is being pushed by widespread sexual abuse and restrictive abortion legal guidelines within the nation, in keeping with a brand new report from Amnesty International.
At least 1,000 ladies aged 14 and youthful gave start within the nation between 2019 and 2020, the report says. It provides that greater than 12,000 teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 gave start in 2019.
The report, titled “They are girls, not mothers,” highlights a disaster of sexual violence in opposition to ladies, who’re then compelled to hold out their pregnancies underneath Paraguayan regulation.
The abortion legal guidelines of the South American nation are among the most excessive within the area, with the process criminalized in nearly all circumstances, besides when it’s acknowledged that the lifetime of the mom is in peril.
Paraguay has one of many highest toddler and adolescent being pregnant charges in Latin America and the Caribbean, in keeping with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Preterm labor can current important well being dangers. Girls underneath 15 are 4 instances extra more likely to die from pregnancy-related issues, in keeping with the Latin American Consortium Against Unsafe Abortion.
In Paraguay, ladies and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19 signify one in ten maternal deaths nationwide, in addition to 13% of maternal deaths brought on by unsafe abortions, in keeping with Amnesty.
Paraguay adopted a regulation in 2018 to forestall sexual abuse and assure complete care for youngsters and adolescents who’re survivors of sexual abuse. However, the report describes the implementation of the regulation as inadequate, highlighting gaps within the safety of younger folks, “such as the absence of adequate public policies and the lack of compliance with existing laws to prevent abuses and provide redress when they occur.”
“By action and omission, Paraguay is turning its back on its girls and adolescents who are facing unimaginable abuse,” stated Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.
“Girls have the right to a life free of violence. Forcing someone to continue with a pregnancy, especially when it is the result of rape, is a form of mistreatment that can be considered torture,” he added.
In 2019 alone, the nation’s Public Ministry obtained a median of 12 complaints of sexual violence in opposition to ladies and adolescents each day, which in some circumstances resulted in pregnancies, in keeping with the report.
Paraguay’s restrictive stance on abortion has drawn worldwide consideration earlier than. In 2015, an 11-year-old woman gave start after the Paraguayan authorities denied her an abortion. The woman had change into pregnant by her stepfather at age 10.