The Committee of Experts of the Mechanism to Follow up on Implementation of the Convention of Belém do Pará (MESECVI), in a note to President of the Republic Horacio Cartes and Speaker of the House of Representatives Hugo Velázquez, has issued its view of the case of a 10-year old Paraguayan girl, pregnant through rape,.
In that note, the Committee expressed its concern and noted that pregnancy among girls and adolescents entails additional medical and psychosocial risks, constituting a problem of public health, justice, and education. It also requested the State of Paraguay to take into consideration the recommendations and international commitments in order to guarantee the human rights of the victim and to prevent similar cases in the future.
Since abortion is a crime in Paraguay except in cases of risk to the life of the mother, the Committee cited the recommendation contained in the Second Hemispheric Report on the Implementation of the Convention of Belém do Pará, that the States Parties to the Convention should “Legalize the interruption of pregnancy caused by rape. Implement that service in hospitals and health centers and establish care protocols or guidelines to guarantee women’s access to such procedures.” (Recommendation No. 11)
In September 2014, as a result of its analysis of the situation of women in the region, the Committee of Experts issued the Declaration on Violence against Women, Girls and Adolescents and their Sexual and Reproductive Rights, which recommends to the States Parties to the Convention that they guarantee the sexual and reproductive health of women and their right to life, eliminating unsafe abortion and establish laws and policies that enable the termination of pregnancy, at the very least in the following cases: (i) risk to the life or health of the woman; (ii) inability of the fetus to survive; and (iii) sexual violence, incest and forced insemination