Okay, one last chance for those who still wish to debate the topic.
For those of you who feel that the 11 year old is fully able to consent to either keeping the baby or abortion, do you also feel that she is able to fully consent to sex? See, I'm thinking that even though it is her body, we typically say that there are certain things that children simply are not ready to consent or not consent to all on their own. I don't believe that 11 year olds are able to consent to sex. I don't know if I think they are able to fully consent to an abortion, or to keeping the baby. I certainly wouldn't argue that she should be forced to have an abortion because frankly I don't believe in forced abortions in any circumstance, but I do agree that she needs someone to be looking out for her best interests and helping her understand all of her options and the implications of her decisions. I don't think it's fair to hold her up as some paragon of maturity and virtue when she is obviously thinking at a normal 11 year old level (that a baby will be like a doll) and in any case, she is an 11 year old victim of child abuse; she shouldn't be anyone's political pawn.
Of course, all of that talk about "her options" is moot since abortion is illegal in her country anyway.
-Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)
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Well, let's not forget the option of an illegal, backroom abortion with dirty instruments. Just because a 'clean' abortion is illegal in Chile doesn't mean there aren't hundreds or thousands of the dirty kind performed every day. If this story hadn't received such international attention chances are this poor girl would have been forced to have one of those.
In such completely F'ed up situations as this, the default should be the one that causes the least amount of additional harm, and that would be an abortion as early as possible. I don't like the idea of "forced" abortion but sometimes we make our kids do things they don't want to do because it's what is best for them. If this girl had appendicitis and didn't want surgery because she'd been taught in her religion that you need a whole body to get into heaven, would anyone be saying, "OK sure, we'll go along with what you think you want," even though it could ruin her health or kill her? Eleven-year-olds don't always get what they want. And as some of us have shown, most women aren't nearly as traumatized by abortion as some you want to believe.
And on the other side of the equation, I know two kids and an adult whose moms planned to give them up for adoption but couldn't go through with it. The adult says that he'd have preferred not to have been born than to have the life he ended up with. He loves his mom, but believes she shouldn't have had a kid when she did, and certainly not with the person she did, who ended up doing jail time for abusing his son. One of the kids now has three half-siblings by three different fathers and has run away from home twice, and she's barely into her teens. The other is being raised by his grandma because his mom, at the age of 17, decided that she really didn't want to be a mom to a 2-year-old. So grandma, instead of having an empty nest and looking forward to retirement, is now saddled with raising someone else's child.
The number of U.S. states in which a person can marry the person they love regardless of gender: 30 and counting!
In a country where abortion is illegal and most consider to be morally wrong an abortion would be devastating for an 11 year old that has been told that is so wrong all her life. She probably has a lot of guilt surrounding this issue already, as most child sex abuse victims do. I think an abortion (if it was even an option) would only add to her guilt and make healing so much harder.
I am not sure what the answer is. I hope she can be removed from her home and place with a family that could look out for her, advocate for her and help her through this situation.
Molly, Morgan, Mia and Carson
CARRIE and DH 7/14/07