D.A. (2019) Argentina

12-year old rape victim denied an abortion until her mother takes drastic self-harm action

In the summer of 2018, in the Argentinian province of Jujuy, 12-year-old D.A. was raped by her 60-year-old neighbor. In January, D.A.’s mother Norma took her daughter to a local clinic because of a persistent stomachache. Doctors told them that D.A. was 22 weeks pregnant. Immediately, D.A. and her mother asked for an abortion but doctors began stalling. D.A. was kept in the hospital, where, one day, three women paid her a visit, having told hospital staff they were relatives of Norma. “Have it and give it up for adoption,” Norma remembered the women, whom she had never met before, begging her daughter.

It was then that Norma lost it. She started pacing frantically, and punched her fist through the glass cover of the fire alarm. Norma fell to the floor, laying in a puddle of her own blood. Scars still zigzag across her knuckles and wrist. “If I hadn’t done this to myself, they would have kept delaying it,” Norma said.

About a week after she first entered the public health system, it was decided that D.A. needed a C-section. Outside doctors were called in because the hospital staffers had declared themselves “conscientious objectors”. After the baby was born alive, one of the nurses went to ask Norma what she wanted to name her — even though D.A. had told doctors that she didn’t want to hear anything about the baby. The baby lived for four days. D.A. and her mother continue to suffer from social harassment.

Source: Buzzfeed News, April 13, 2019, “How Doctors And The Church Conspired To Stop An 11-Year-Old Girl From Having An Abortion After Rape”