10-Year-Old Girl Gives Birth in Colombia

A 10-year-old Colombian girl recently gave birth to a baby, sparking a worldwide debate as to why and how a girl so young could be put in such a situation.

The girl delivered the 5-and-a-half pound baby by caesarian section and is said to be recovering, however, reports have stated that this was the first time the child had been to a hospital or seen a doctor during her pregnancy.

What makes this case unique is the fact that it has been reported the girl is from the indigenous Wayuu tribe found in the Colombian jungle.

"We've already seen similar cases of Wayuu girls. At a time when [the girls] should be playing with dolls, they go to having to take care of a baby," said Efrain Pacheco Casadiego, director at the hospital where the baby was born.

The tribe does not have to adhere to Colombian laws since they are an autonomous community. But many in the area and around the world say that it still not right or just for a girl that young to have a child no matter where she is from.

"Since it's a Wayuu girl we are trying to respect all of their rights since they have autonomy and their own jurisdiction," said Alejandro Samplayo, director of the parental organization Colombiano Bienestar Familiar.

The young mother is not the first young child to give birth. Last year, a 10-year-old Mexican girl gave birth to a baby boy.

In Colombia, abortions are illegal unless there is a threat to the life or health of the mother or if the pregnancy is the result of rape, according to a Columbian law passed in 2006.

That law was passed after an 11-year-old girl had to go to court to get an abortion authorized after it was revealed that she had been impregnated by her stepfather.


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