The Supreme Court of Salta, Argentina, has overruled a lower court’s decision forbidding a raped 14 year old girl from having an abortion.
The young girl was raped by her mother’s partner. When she found out she was pregnant, the girl and her mother sought an abortion. Though abortion is illegal in Argentina, there are several cases where exceptions apply. One of these exceptions is when the pregnancy stems from sexual assault.
Argentina’s federal supreme court ruled last year that women may legally have abortions when they were raped or when their lives are at risk by giving birth. The court also ruled that victims could not be punished for having abortions, and that a signed doctor’s note would be the only criteria needed to seek out an abortion.
So on December 17th, when a judge ordered the young girl to carry out her pregnancy, her mother was outraged and claimed the judge exceeded his authority in his decision.
"There is a judge that is making my daughter have a baby that she does not want. It's horrible," the mother said.
Abortion rights groups in Argentina were understandably angered by the case as well.
“When it comes to a woman’s body and her authority over her own body, what we have is a male-dominated, patriarchal majority in society and the Catholic Church,” said Mabel Gabarra with the National Campaign for Free and Legal Abortion.
With activist support behind them, the mother and her daughter appealed the court’s decision. The Salat Supreme Court sided with them, and granted the girl the right to have an abortion.
Argentina is quite progressive on a number of issues. Gay marriage is legal and transgender rights are recognized in the country. Nevertheless, abortion is still considered a social taboo.