If I had to think about something that terrifies me to my core, it would be being raped. Every time I see another survivor's story, my heart breaks. I was especially distraught when I saw the story of an eleven-year-old Argentine girl that is being called "Lucía" to protect her identity.
Childhood should be about being carefree and innocent. Raping a child is already one of the most heinous crimes someone could commit, but then forcing that child to carry their rapist's baby is even crueler. Lucía was raped and impregnated by her grandmother's sixty-five-year-old partner. When she found out she was pregnant, she attempted to commit suicide by self-harming and was then admitted to the Eva Perón hospital outside of Tucumán.
In Argentina, abortion is illegal, except in cases of rape or if the woman's life would be endangered by carrying to term. It should have never been up for debate whether or not Lucía should have been allowed to have an abortion. Not only did a doctor state in court that she was at high obstetric risk if she was forced to continue with her pregnancy, but Lucía herself said that she wanted an abortion. She told a psychologist at the hospital,
"I want you to remove what the old man put inside me."
The Argentine government had no right to stand in the way of her getting an abortion. They would not be giving birth to the rapist's child, Lucía would be. It is inhumane to force someone, let alone a child, to carry the child of their rapist. The abuse that Lucía faced had clearly taken a toll on her since she had committed suicide twice during the pregnancy, but Argentine officials refused to listen to Lucía's pleas.
Gustavo Vigliocco, Tucumán's health secretary, even lied about Lucía's wishes and claimed that she did not want an abortion. He said,
"I am close to both the child and her mother. The child wants to continue her pregnancy. We are considering the risks but she has a large contexture, she weighs more than 50 kilos."
It is bad enough to try to convince the government that an eleven-year-old girl would want to continue with a pregnancy that was the product of rape, but to try to create a case for her to have to carry to term by saying that she weighs enough? That is beyond evil. Mariana Carbajal, the journalist and feminist that broke Lucía's story, explained the situation best. She stated that,
"Tucumán treated her like a receptacle, like an incubator."
On February 26, Lucía had to undergo a cesarean section after being pregnant for 23 weeks. The baby's chances of survival are low. Thankfully, Lucía was doing well after the operation. The fact that an eleven-year-old girl was forced by her country's government into continuing the pregnancy that resulted from her rape is so horrifying that it makes me feel sick to my stomach. The Argentine officials truly saw Lucía as a political pawn to gain support from pro-life campaigners.
The entire argument of people that are pro-life is that they want to "save the life of the child." Lucía is a child. She is a child that was abused and got pregnant because of that abuse. Does her life not matter? Are you capable of ignoring that she is already alive and has been put through something horrific in order to "save the child" inside of her? Our priority should be to care for and fight for the children that are already here in this world.
Early on in the pregnancy when Lucía wanted the abortion, the "baby" that was inside of her was not an actual child. The only child that was being harmed during this whole ordeal was Lucía. It was her legal right to get an abortion, but she was refused because of the chants of pro-life campaigners that wanted to "save both lives." There were not two lives to save. There was only one and it was Lucía's. The Argentine government failed her and put her through physical and mental torture.