June 14, 2024

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Peru: Child sex victim accused of self-abortion after miscarriage

Peru: Child sex victim accused of self-abortion after miscarriage

Peru violated the rights of a child who was sexually assaulted by her father by not guaranteeing an abortion and condemning her after the abortion, a human rights group said Tuesday.

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The young peasant woman of indigenous origin, whose name has not been released by the UN team that captured her, was raped by her father in 2017 from the age of nine until she became pregnant at the age of thirteen.

“I am appalled by the way national authorities treated a 13-year-old girl who was raped and sexually assaulted,” committee chair Ann Skelton said in a statement by the committee, which found Peru had violated her rights to health and life. .

“Instead of being protected, (…) she was harassed (…) by the health, police and judicial authorities. In fact, she went from being a victim to a criminal,” he said.

From her first visit to the Apanke hospital, she expressed her desire not to keep this child, although she reiterated her request due to her deteriorating mental health, although she was not informed of her right to a therapeutic abortion.

Peru, a Catholic country, only recognizes therapeutic abortion if the mother’s life is at risk.

With the help of an NGO, she voluntarily submitted a request to terminate the pregnancy to the hospital and to the lawyer investigating her rape, but received no response.

For their part, health workers insisted on organizing prenatal check-ups, according to the group, even going so far as to accompany the police to her home when she didn’t show up, according to the group.

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Stigmatized and persecuted even within her family and her community, she had to leave school and the village, the group continues, which she was reprimanded for after her miscarriage, without evidence of self-abortion. The sentence, which carries up to two years in prison, was overturned in 2019 after an appeal in the courts.

The group of 18 independent experts calls on Peru to decriminalize abortion in all cases of child pregnancy and to ensure access to safe abortion for young pregnant women, especially in cases where the health and life of the mother are at risk. As well as in the event of rape, especially in a sexual situation.