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Argentine Authorities Denied a Preteen Rape Victim an Abortion. Here’s Where Reproductive Rights Stand Across South America.

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Pro-choice activists demonstrate outside the Argentine Congress in Buenos Aires, on June 13th, 2018, calling for the approval of a bill that would have legalized abortion. The bill was narrowly rejected in August of 2018.

Doctors performed a caesarean section on an 11-year-old in Argentina on Tuesday, after Argentine authorities refused to grant the girl access to an abortion when she became pregnant with her rapist’s child. The news led to heartbreak and outrage among members of the country’s reproductive rights community, many of whom had joined the girl and her mother in repeated requests for access to an abortion. Born at 23 weeks, the baby is unlikely to survive.

A group led by female lawmakers in Argentina narrowly lost the vote last August on a bill that would have legalized abortion in the country. Even with Argentina’s stringent abortion restrictions, however, advocates argue that the 11-year-old should have had access to an abortion: A 1921 law allows abortion in the case of rape or when the pregnant person’s life and health are in danger. (A legal drama played out between the provincial government and the girl’s family, with some officials claiming the girl did not want an abortion. The final decision was delayed until it was too late, and the caesarean section became necessary.)

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