10-year-old Girl Gives Birth in East-central Mexico

Puebla, Mexico, Nov 10 (BNO NEWS): A 10-year-old girl has given birth to a baby boy in east-central Mexico after a pregnancy of nearly eight months, officials confirmed on Thursday. She was unable to have an abortion due to state laws.

The young girl, who is almost 11, is from the San Francisco Totimehuacan community near the city of Puebla, the capital of the state which carries the same name. She had previously sought medical attention on October 22 because she had been experiencing complications which were threatening her health.

According to reports, the child gave birth at the Women's Hospital in the city of Puebla after a pregnancy of 31 weeks. The baby boy weighed about 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) at the time of his birth and was taken to the hospital's intensive care unit where he is recovering from pneumonia.

Women's Hospital director Rogelio Gonzalez said the newborn is in a good condition considering his premature birth. He also said the mother is recovering well from the caesarean section and has already returned home, but is visiting the hospital daily to breastfeed her child.

Meanwhile, Gonzalez added that the pregnancy has been reported to the State Attorney General's office due to the young age of the mother. Authorities have already launched an investigation to determine who the father is and if sexual abuse was involved, as the state's minimum age of consent is 12.

In the state of Puebla, abortion is an illegal practice and women who decide to undergo such procedure may face criminal charges that may lead to a fine and a prison sentence, except if the woman is able to prove she was sexually abused. The State Congress is currently reviewing proposed laws which would abolish a prison term for abortion.

In August 2010, an eleven-year old Mayan girl named Amalia gave birth in southern Mexico, two weeks earlier than expected. The birth came months after the local Justice Department had denied an abortion to the girl because she was in the fourth month of pregnancy.

The case of Amalia generated national media interest due to her age and the fact she was denied an abortion, despite being repeatedly raped by her stepfather when she was 10 years old. Local laws in the state where she was born do not allow abortions after the third month of pregnancy.

Amalia's case was reminiscent to that of then 13-year-old Paulina Ramírez Jacinto, who was raped in 1999 by a drug addict who broke into her house while she was sleeping. Paulina and her family began and eventually won legal procedures in the state of Baja California to have an abortion.

But Paulina was unable to have the abortion because the hospital refused to carry out the medical procedure. Instead, the girl was sent to religious and anti-abortion groups who convinced the child to give birth. In 2005, the Interamerican Human Rights Commission (CIDH) ordered the state to pay compensation to Paulina and to pay alimony to her son until he reaches legal age.

So far, the youngest confirmed mother gave birth in 1939 in Peru. A local girl, Lina Medina, gave birth to a boy at the tender age of just five. Despite investigations, it was not possible to determine who the father was.


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