Twelve-year-old raped by stepfather barred from seeking abortion

A 12-year-old raped by her stepfather and made pregnant is too far advanced in her pregnancy to be legally entitled to an abortion.

Lawyer Nuno Godinho de Matos explained the situation to reporters yesterday as the child remained in the care of Lisbon’s Santa Maria Hospital.

The complexity of the case lies with the abortion law and the fact that ethics pronounce that authorities “protect the supreme interests of the child”.

The fact that there are two children in this case leaves everyone in a quandary.

Lawyer Calisto Melo has explained that in the cases of deformity of the unborn child, an abortion could still take place up to 24 weeks into the pregnancy.

The 12-year-old is currently at around week 20 – four weeks ‘overdue’ the legal limit for abortion.

Thus further scans and tests are likely to take place.

According to Correio da Manhã, the child’s condition was first noticed by a member of staff at her school.

The child’s mother is understood to have been unaware that her daughter was being abused at home, while the stepfather is reported to have confessed to the crime and is understood to be appearing in court today (Monday).

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