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Denied Abortion: Latin America child rape survivors petition UN

Reproductive rights groups have moved a petition to the United Nations agency on behalf of four rape survivors in Latin America.

The petition seeks to ease up the region restrictive abortion laws.

It said that due to the strict law the girls were forced to carry their unwanted pregnancies to term and became “mothers against their will”.

The US-based Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood Global and other rights groups in Ecuador, Guatemala and Nicaragua have filed the petition.

Mostly Catholic, Latin America and the Caribbean have some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world, often only allowing the procedure under the most limited circumstances.

A handful of countries, mostly in Central America, have total bans on abortion, including in cases of rape or incest or when the woman’s life or fetus is in danger.

The four girls from Ecuador, Guatemala and Nicaragua cited in the petition were younger than 14 years old when they were raped, two by relatives and one by a local parish priest, according to the rights groups.

The petition was filed before the UN’s Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), which monitors how and if member countries implement their commitments to human rights.

The UNHCR can issue non-binding resolutions and recommendations to pressure countries to improve their human rights record and change their laws.

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