"Belén," as the media calls her, is 11-years-old. Since she was nine, she has been repeatedly raped by her mother's boyfriend, who is 32. Belén didn't tell anyone about the abuse because her abuser threatened that he would kill her. Her mother claims that the relationship between her boyfriend and her daughter, which started when she 9, was consensual! But Belén's grandmother alerted the police about the crime when she saw her grandaughter was pregnant.
Yep. Belen is 14 weeks pregnant. And she lives in one of the five countries where abortion is illegal under any circumstances, with no exceptions whatsoever, even in cases of rape, incest, the safety or the life of the woman. In 1931, Chile legalized therepeutic abortions for health reasons, but the dictator Augusto Pinochet, famous for his violations of human rights and his penchant for torture, banned abortion completely in 1989. It was only in 2004 that Chile legalized divorce. And to this day, Chile lives under the dictatorship's abortion laws.
On Monday, Belén appeared on television and said the following heartbreaking words: "It will be a like a doll that I will hold in my arms ... I will love it a lot, whatever it is, even though it's from this man who hurt me."
Though comparing a having a baby to having a doll suggests that Belén does not fully understand the reality of having a child, Chile's president Sebastián Piñera, seen in the video above, praised her "wisdom and depth [after] she said that, despite the pain the man who raped her caused, she would love and support her baby." But according to forensic psychologist Giorgio Agostini, "What the president is saying doesn't get close to the psychological truth of an 11-year-old girl ... It's a subjective view that is not based on any scientific reasoning."
That wasn't the only thing that Piñera got wrong. The president said that doctors will consider inducing a premature birth if it will protect Belén's health because, "in our county the life of the mother always comes first." It's pretty hard to put the mother's life first when abortions are banned, especially when they are banned even when the woman's health or life are at risk. After all, between 2000 and 2004, abortion was the third leading cause of maternal mortality in Chile.
Though, what Piñera said doesn't hold a candle to what congressman Issa Kort said: "From the moment a woman has her first period, her first menstruation, it’s because her body is ready to become a mother, to procreate." How comforting!