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July 9, 2013

Child's pregnancy sparks controversy in Chile

Abortion debate reignites after 11-year-old rape victim becomes pregnant.
Picture via Flickr (Creative Commons/Mark Scott Johnson).
NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the year abortions were outlawed in Chile. The story has been updated.
The case of an 11-year-old child, raped and impregnated by her mother's partner, has led Chile to revisit an old debate: the country's stance on abortion. 
State TV reported Friday that the girl is 14 weeks pregnant after being repeatedly raped over the course of two years. Though doctors say her life and the life of the fetus are in great danger, terminating her pregnancy is illegal in Chile. Abortions for medical reasons were legal in Chile until 1989 when they were outlawed under the rule of General Pinochet. 
While this case has reinvigorated the call for legislative change, reformist voices are clashing both on and offline with the conservatives of Chilean society.