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Last Updated:  Friday, 21 February, 2003, 23:10 GMT
Raped Nicaraguan girl aborts baby
Child protester
The family was supported by women's and children's groups
A nine-year-old Nicaraguan girl, who was four months pregnant after being raped, has had an abortion in a private clinic.

The girl's parents claimed she became pregnant after she was raped in Costa Rica where they were working on a coffee plantation.

Abortion is illegal in Nicaragua except in exceptional circumstances, such as when the mother's life is in danger.

The girl's parents asked the authorities for special permission to have the pregnancy terminated.

Nicaragua's family minister, Natalia Barias, said the child should have the baby.

President Enrique Bolanos said the girl's fate was in the hands of doctors.

Abortion debate

Violeta Delgado, of the Organisation of Women Against Violence, said three doctors had contacted the family and offered to carry out the operation, which took place on Thursday in Managua on Thursday.

"The girl is fine," she told the Associated Press news agency.

"She is happy. She is in an excellent state of health. (The parents) are very happy also to have this situation resolved."

Medical experts had said the girl could die whether she had an abortion or not.

The case sparked a furious debate in Nicaragua.

Church representatives urged against an abortion, while feminist groups and children's advocates argued that the girl's parents should be able to obtain an abortion for their only daughter.

Costa Rican authorities arrested a man in connection with the rape allegations earlier this week.





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SEE ALSO:
Nicaragua child rape suspect held
19 Feb 03 |  Americas
Country profile: Nicaragua
04 Nov 02 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Nicaragua
04 Jan 03 |  Americas



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