Earlier this year, news of a 10 year-old pregnant girl in Paraguay sparked global outrage and a fierce debate over the country’s abortion law. The young girl had been raped, allegedly by her stepfather, but Paraguayan health officials denied her an abortion since it conflicted with national law. Organizations around the world, like Amnesty International, vehemently spoke out against the decision, calling Paraguay’s anti-abortion law “draconian” and demanded that the pregnancy be terminated. The young girl gave birth in August.
The case cast an important light on the growing problem of young pregnancies in Latin America, where births to girls under 15 are actually expected to rise. But of all the countries in the region, Guatemala has probably struggled the most with a teen pregnancy crisis.