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Paraguayan girl, 11, denied abortion gives birth

| Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, 5:57 p.m.

ASUNCION, Paraguay — An 11-year-old Paraguayan girl who had been denied an abortion gave birth Thursday, the culmination of a case that put a spotlight on child rape in the poor South American nation and drew criticism from human rights groups.

Elizabeth Torales, a lawyer for the girl's mother, said that the minor gave birth to a baby girl via Caesarean section in a Red Cross hospital in Asuncion, Paraguay's capital.

Torales said doctors told her there were no complications and the mother and baby were resting. She said her client, the daughter who gave birth and the girl's grandmother had requested custody of the infant. “The baby doesn't yet have a name,” said Torales.

The girl was allegedly raped and impregnated by her stepfather when she was 10. The stepfather has been arrested and is awaiting trial. The girl's mother has been charged with negligence.

The mother requested an abortion for her daughter, but the government refused to allow it, drawing praise from religious groups but criticism from many human rights organizations, including U.N. officials. Paraguay bans abortion except when the mother's life is in danger. At the time, the girl was five months pregnant and local health officials said she appeared to be in fine health.

In a statement, Amnesty International said the organization is glad the girl had come through the birth, but the fact that “she did not die does not excuse the human rights violations she suffered at the hands of the Paraguayan authorities.”

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