Case Of Pregnant 11-Year-Old Sparks Abortion Debate

SANTIAGO, Chile (July 5, 2013)--The case of a pregnant 11-year old girl known only as “Belen” has sparked a national debate about abortion in the socially conservative nation of Chile.

State TV reports that the girl is 14 weeks pregnant.

Her mother's partner confessed to abusing her, police said.

Doctors say her life and that of the fetus are at high risk, but abortion isn’t an option because it’s banned in Chile.

Many Chileans were venting outrage on social media Friday and some have started an online campaign to demand legalization of abortion in cases of rape or health risks for mother.

Chile's Senate rejected three bills last year that would have eased the absolute ban on abortions.

Chile allowed abortions for medical reasons until 1973 when Gen. Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship outlawed them completely.

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