I have had to write about a lot of heartbreaking stories over the last two and a half years. My coverage of the Catholic Church alone brings forth a wellspring of emotion.
This story is very disturbing.
Argentina is a very Catholic country. That is why Argentina, among some nearby countries, took in an overwhelming number of Nazi officers fleeing Germany after World War II. Those Nazi officers were aided by the Catholic Church in the flight from justice. "Aided" is, honestly, an understatement.
All of that is just background for the main topic of this story. An 11-year-old girl was raped in Argentina, and subsequently became pregnant.
The 11-year-old girl, who has been referred to as “Lucía” in the press to protect her identity, has repeatedly requested an abortion.
Argentina, a country with a government overrun with Christian influence, has outlawed abortion since the 19th century. Certain allowances have been given, but those allowances were restricted during the dictatorship of the late 70's and early 80's.
Unless the pregnancy was the result of the rape of a mentally disabled woman, or the pregnant woman's life is in serious immediate danger, abortion is absolutely illegal.
Lucía was raped by her grandmother's 65-year-old partner. Lucía was only placed under her grandmother's care after her two older sisters were abused by her mother's partner.
As horrifying as all that is, it gets worse.
Lucía, after discovering she was pregnant in the middle of January, was placed in state care when she was found with self-inflicted lesions. The lesions were determined to be the result of attempted suicide.
After she was admitted to the hospital in January, Lucía made multiple requests for an abortion.
Yes, she herself made these requests. Not someone in her name. An 11-year-old girl had to fight the state for this.
The state refused her requests, even though under certain interpretations of the law she was entitled.
After she was 23-weeks pregnant, she was forced to undergo a cesarean section on Tuesday. Her child is not expected to survive. She was subjected to this extremely painful, invasive, and life-altering surgery for nothing but the religious obligations of deluded politicians.
According to reports, Lucía told the psychologist at the hospital where she was admitted, after TWO suicide attempts, "I want you to remove what the old man put inside me."
The thought of an 11-year-old girl having to tell a doctor that honestly makes me want to throw up.
A doctor told the court that Lucía was in "high obstetric risk," which should have been enough under their barbaric law to allow the abortion.
But then, Gustavo Vigliocco, the health secretary for the province of Tucumán, stated that Lucía did not want an abortion.
For a reminder, she attempted suicide at least twice and directly told at least one doctor she wanted the baby out of her. Vigliocco was lying, as was pointed out by many other people cited by the media.
Vigliocco's despicable attempts at delaying a proper response meant that Lucía carried her child until the 23rd week. At that point health authorities decided to carry out a cesarean section following a court order to take immediate action.
Cecilia Ousset was among the doctors who performed the operation. Ousset said, “We saved the life of an 11-year-old girl who was tortured for a month by the provincial health system.”
While you may be tempted to be angry at Ousset for performing the operation on Lucía, know that Ousset also said that, “For electoral reasons they [the authorities] prevented the legal interruption of the pregnancy and forced the little girl to give birth. My legs trembled when I saw her, it was like seeing my younger daughter. The little girl didn’t understand completely what was going to happen.”
I think it is clear that Ousset did not want to perform this operation. She went as far as to accuse the governor of the Tucumán province, Juan Manzur, of using this situation for political gain.
She also said that she did not expect the baby to survive.
This is the damage that is wrought by religious thinking. We have an 11-year-old girl who has already been raped. That alone is absolutely terrible, but then we have the society that she lives in. It is a society beholden to archaic ideas of Christian ideology and as a result they force her to experience more suffering, more pain, more tragedy, and more humiliation.
This is despicable. And anyone who supports this kind of "religious morality" is, in my opinion, morally bankrupt.