An 11 year old girl in Chile known as Belén is being forced to go through with her pregnancy. Belén has been raped and abused by her mothers boyfriend since she was 9. Her mother claims that when the relationship started it was consensual. I don’t know about you but I do not believe that a child can consent to a sexual relationship with an adult, especially an adult who is in a position of power over them. Luckily Belén’s grandmother did not see the relationship as consensual and reported it.
The boyfriend admitted to the authorities that he abused Belén yet she is still not allowed to have an abortion. In the past Chile allowed abortions for medical reasons but when dictator Augusto Pinochet took power of Chile he banned all abortions. Although Chile is no longer a dictatorship it is still controlled by conservatives and the Catholic Church.
Many, including myself. believe that Belén should be allowed an abortion because of her age, the fact that she was raped, she is the victim of incest, the pregnancy is a serious health risk, and the health of the fetus is at risk. These are reasons that even anti-choice people would agree with. How anyone can expect an 11 year old to be able to physically and mentally handle a pregnancy and birth is baffling to me. Even if the pregnancy hadn’t occurred in such a horrendous way she is still too young. Her body is not ready to carry a child. She will suffer great health risks if she does not have this abortion.
This story is shockingly similar to that of a woman in El Salvador
As many of you know Paul Ryan and other conservative politicians in the USA have issues with abortion. He is now trying to gain supporters for his anti-abortion ideas. I personally follow the idea that if you don’t want an abortion then don’t get one, also if you are a man and therefore will never have to go through a pregnancy and/or an abortion then your opinion on what women should do is invalid. It is a women’s choice not the choice of a male politician, especially one like Ryan who’s moral values are a little outdated and misplaced.
Some male politicians in the USA, including Ryan, have had some very interesting things to say about abortion and pregnancy. The most infamous being from Republican Todd Akin who said women do not need abortions in the case of rape because: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”. Now I think we can all see the many ways Akin is wrong. There is no such thing as “legitimate rape” and “illegitimate rape” all rape is rape. Also if the female body had the ability to control pregnancy than abortion, birth control, and condoms would have never been invented or needed in the first place.
This post has much in common with two of my past posts if you are interested in further information from me: https://reproductiverightscanada.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/meanwhile-in-the-usa-2/ and https://reproductiverightscanada.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/politicians-vs-the-people/
And for more information from other sources try:
For more Quotes from politicians: Women’s Rights Quotes from Politicians – Stupid Things Politicians Say – Cosmopolitan
For more information on Paul Ryan check out Feministings article on him: http://feministing.com/2013/04/12/paul-ryan-wants-you-to-join-the-ranks-of-his-anti-abortion-army/
Feminist and comedian Tina Fey gives us some insight on the current fight for reproductive rights in the USA, at a Reproductive Rights Gala in 2012. She pokes fun at the myths and misconceptions many male politicians have about rape and pregnancy.
This provides some insight into many of the problems feminists face when trying to gain reproductive rights. Just as these male American politicians are misinformed many other men (and women) around the world are misinformed about reproductive rights. There are many misconceptions and myths about reproduction and reproductive rights that can only be stopped by the sharing of actual information. Hopefully Fey’s speech will be helpful in shinning a light on the problem of lack of information on reproductive rights and open up a dialogue and find a way to share information to fix all these misconceptions.