A 10-year-old Mexican girl recently gave birth to a baby boy after a life-threatening, 31-week pregnancy. Sadly, there have been several similar cases in the last two years. Here, a brief guide:
First, are the girl and her baby okay?
So far. The unidentified girl faced dangerous complications, including seizures, when she arrived at Women's Hospital in the city of Puebla, Mexico, on Oct. 22. The baby was delivered safely by caesarean section, and the girl was able to return home. The infant, who weighed just 3.3 pounds, is in the intensive care unit recovering from pneumonia. His mother goes to the hospital every day to breast-feed.
How are authorities investigating this troubling case?
Hospital workers alerted the Puebla State Attorney General's Office, which is conducting an investigation to determine whether the child was raped. The state's legal age of consent is 12.
Was abortion considered?
Apparently not. In 2009, state lawmakers passed a measure protecting the right to life "from the moment of conception to natural death, except in cases foreseen by law." So doctors could not have performed an abortion unless they were sure the girl had been raped.
And there have been other cases like this?
Yes. Last year, an 11-year-old girl identified in news reports only as Amalia gave birth to a child two weeks prematurely. Amalia told her mother she had been raped repeatedly by her stepfather when she was 10. She thought she couldn't get an abortion under the city of Cancún's strict abortion laws. But women's rights groups said that was only because doctors failed to tell Amalia and her family that there was an exception for rape victims. In another case — perhaps the most widely publicized of the bunch — a 13-year-old rape victim in Baja California was denied an abortion by medical authorities in 1999, even though the law should have given her that option. She had the baby, and the government eventually paid the young mother $32,000 in reparations.