10-Year-Old Girl Gives Birth in Mexico

File this under disturbing.

In Mexico, a 10-year-old girl has given birth to a premature baby boy by Caesarian section at 31 weeks.

The girl arrived at the Women’s Hospital in the city of Puebla suffering from life-threatening complications, including seizures, as a result of the pregnancy. The infant was in poor shape as well — born at just 3.3 pounds and currently recovering from pneumonia.

A pregnancy at such a young age raises many red flags. The Puebla state Attorney General’s office is now investigating who the father is and whether the girl was raped.

Can a Child Consent to Sex?

At just 10 years old, many would argue that a child cannot consent to sex. At such a young age, a girl is not in a position to fully understand their actions, making it impossible for them to meaningfully agree to engage in any type of sexual activity.

In the United States, most states set the age of consent, the age at which an individual can legally consent to sexual intercourse under any circumstance, at 16 years old. In Puebla, the age of consent is 12 years old.

Consequences of Child Labor

In addition to the extensive emotional trauma that sexual abuse and a pregnancy at such a young age can cause, there are also very severe health risks — some fatal. Mothers under 16 years old are actually four times more likely to die during childbirth.

In addition, young moms are more susceptible to developing anemia, postpartum hemorrhage, depression and other mental disorders. Given the difficulty of child birth on a body that is not fully developed, minors also make up 65% of the women who develop an obstetric fistula, a condition in which a hole develops in the birth canal, causing an uncontrollable leakage of urine and feces into the vagina.

Abortion Laws in Mexico

In such a heavily Catholic country like Mexico, abortion laws are strict. Individual states regulate abortion laws and in 16 of Mexico’s 31 states, most abortion laws say that life begins “from the moment of conception to natural death, except in cases foreseen by law.”

In Puebla, where the 10-year-old girl lives, such is the case and abortion is prohibited unless the woman can prove the pregnancy was a result of sexual assault.

Limiting a woman’s reproductive choice is problematic in any circumstance, but given the severe health complications minors can endure from a pregnancy, outlawing abortion is that much more complicated.

Had abortion been legal — and not stigmatized by society — would this young girl’s story have ended differently?

The choice of becoming a mother or ending a pregnancy is not a decision any child should have to make. We need laws that protect girls so that motherhood isn’t their reality while they’re still growing up.

 

Related from Care2:

Occupy Rape – Eve Ensler is Over It and So Am I

Ultimate Fighter Jokes About Rape on Twitter

Turkish Outrage: Supreme Court Says 13-Year-Old Girl ‘Consented’ to Rape

Photo credit: wikimedia commons.

497 comments

Kristina C.
Kristina C7 years ago

It is very disturbing to me that her family and/or parents did not notice her pregnancy and helped her when it was still time.

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Dayle Gibson
Dayle Gibson7 years ago

i second that, file this under disturbing

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joe M.
joe MARTINEZ7 years ago

Response to Nadu: It's in our Constitution that church and state be seperated. Yet the Evangelical Christians have been trying to take over the government for total control. Identical to the muslin world. This we must never allow to happen. Indicators are before us eyes, with the supression of women rights to choose, again just like the muslin world where women have less rights then their camel. This is why I keep telling American women to unite and don't allow religion to take hold like the dark ages. This is not happening in the Europe, religion and state are seperate and live in harmony, hell even in Roman right under the Popes nose.

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Nadu B.
Victoria B7 years ago

Yet an other reason why church should be separate from state.
These issues need to be viewed logically.

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Ingrid A.
Ingrid A7 years ago

Children shouldn't be having children. How sad.

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joe M.
joe MARTINEZ7 years ago

Events like this have always prevailed. The difference today people are encouraged to expose these type of illegal conditions. And the reason you hear about them, is better world communicatons and people for the most part are educated and can read what's happening in this globe. Do you believe this the first 10 year old girl to suffer this consequence,think again, they had to marry them at start of puberty, because there was no birth control period. Please stop being so alarmist read about human history. Yes I know this does not make it right, just be thankful that in our society we have control.

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Richard Lares
Richard Lares7 years ago

At 10 so 9 really? What are they doing.

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Tila Garcia
Tila Garcia7 years ago

Going through all the daily negative news one wonders: "Where is this world going into?"

There may be good news about technology, modern science, amazing discoveries, etc. but, what's really happening to the almost 8billion people in this planet? Have we become so intelligent, we are forgetting what truly counts? Why is there so much discontent around the world? Why world leaders are put down; why world economies fail; why so much killings and other horrific and unimaginable crimes: of women and children abuse, rapes, murders, etc.

If mankind is doing something harmful to itself, to the world we live in and our fellowmen, is there still time and a way to save ourselves from self destruction? God help us!

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Mercedez M.
Robyn M7 years ago

omg whats this world coming to so sick sicl!!

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Nancy W.
Nancy Wang7 years ago

Catholicism is just as much to blame. Illegal for abortions, but legal for a 10 y.o. to be pregnant? A Caesarian at 10? The poor child who will never be able to be a child ever again even if the baby dies. Scarred for life in so many ways. What is wrong here? Religion, conservatism, unhealthy sexual values, demented gender values, injustices on so many levels. Mexico is our neighbor and we do everything to make them fail.

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