Paulina (2000) – Mexico
13-year old Mexican Rape Victim Denied Abortion Due to CO
Paulina Ramírez Jacinta was 13 years old when she was raped in 1999 and subsequently denied a legal abortion. She was subjected to repeated interference by state officials, doctors, and priests, who all tried to persuade her out of having an abortion. Paulina finally got authorization for an abortion, but just minutes before the procedure, a doctor warned Paulina’s mother that her daughter could suffer a fatal hemorrhage or be left sterile – even though Paulina was still in the first trimester. Overcome with fear, including the fear that the doctors “would do it badly on purpose”, Paulina’s mother refused to sign the authorization and the abortion was canceled. At age 14, Paulina gave birth to a son in April 2000.
In 2002, the Center for Reproductive Rights and two Mexican human rights groups filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, alleging violations of Paulina’s guaranteed rights under Mexican law, as well as her rights to physical and psychological integrity and health. In 2006, a landmark settlement was reached with the Mexican government, which agreed to pay reparations to Paulina, provide her and her son significant compensation for health care and education, and issue a decree regulating guidelines for access to abortion for rape victims.
New York Times – Rape of Mexican Teenager Stirs Abortion Outcry
Women’s News – Rape of Mexican Teenager Stirs Abortion Controversy
Global Human Rights Watch: Paulina: Violation of Abortion Rights in Mexico
Center for Reproductive Rights: Paulina Ramírez v. Mexico (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights)