A 12-year-old girl gave birth to twins in Argentina after allegedly raped and denied the right to a legal abortion.
The twins were delivered by Caesarean section at Dr Hector Quintana Children’s Hospital in the city of San Salvador in the Argentine province of Jujuy.
The young mother, who has not been named, was reportedly forced to wait for the twin fetuses to reach a certain level of maturity before the surgery could be performed on Nov. 29.
According to a statement from the Network of Health Professionals for the Right to Decide on November 30, she has now been placed under the care of the Ombudsman for Children due to her parents’ ‘legal situation’.
The statement condemns the cesarean section in the 12-year-old and says she was entitled to legal termination of pregnancy given her young age.
Then it criticizes provincial authorities for allowing the surgery, which leaves a permanent scar on the victim’s body and could potentially lead to psychological problems down the line.
The network accused officials of “buying time” to make sure the only option was to give birth, despite having a specific protocol run with UNICEF.
The protocol gives teens under 15 access to legal abortions, given the health risks associated with underage pregnancy.
It also alleges that the National Direction of Sexual Health contacted the provincial authorities and offered to help the girl immediately, but faced a delay.
It is unclear what reasons officials have given for abandoning the case.
There are no further reports on the twins’ current status or the alleged rape case involving the 12-year-old girl.
In Jujuy Province, there have been 685 births to adolescent mothers this year alone.
Of those cases, 20 girls between the ages of 10 and 14 were raped, according to local newspaper TodoJujuy.