What happens when religion trumps common sense

11 year old in Paraguay gives birth after being denied an abortion. She was raped by her stepfather. Such cases are commom in Paraguay andother countries where the Catholic Church holds sway and shows what happens when girls and women are denied reproductive services and information–and human rights.
The case has also shed light on widespread child abuse in Paraguay. At least 600 girls aged 14 or under become pregnant in Paraguay every year – whose population numbers little more than six million people.
Villalba said that the Red Cross are currently treating two pregnant 12-year-old girls, as well as many others who had been the victims of sexual abuse by relatives.
“Unfortunately this case is not unusual for Paraguay, or the region," Paula Avila-Guillen, advocacy adviser for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said. “It’s something that, very sadly, we see far too often, and that’s due to a lack of access to basic reproductive health services for girls and women, and a lack of understanding of the consequences for a girl of this very young age being forced to carry out a pregnancy."
Avila-Guillen said that political and religious conservatism within Paraguay helped explain the government’s refusal to budge on the issue, but noted that devout countries such as Colombia were able to separate the law from religious belief1 in cases of rape or incest.
She called on the Paraguayan government to provide “an abortion law that puts women and girls first", as well as “comprehensive and scientific sexual information and education" for minors.
“If women and girls feel comfortable about their bodies, know what is appropriate and are comfortable talking to their teachers and parents, they would be able to denounce abuse a lot earlier and feel empowered to say no to abusive situations," Avila-Guillen argued, adding that free access to adequate contraception is also “fundamental" in preventing unwanted pregnancies.
“What is the future for that girl? What will be her opportunities? Can she stay in school? Can she become an adult and a woman that can decide what kind of life she has? She’s being forced to be an adult when she’s 11 and all her childhood is being put on hold," she added.
“If they don’t take the necessary steps to protect girls and offer them basic health services, we will keep hearing of these cases," she concluded.