Saturday, September 08, 2007
When Rosita, a 9 year-old Costa Rican, was raped and became pregnant four years ago, doctors said she was too young to survive a pregnancy. Costa Rica would not allow an exception to their no abortion law, forcing Rosita with her mother and stepfather to go to neighboring Nicaragua to get a life-saving abortion. Rosita became the poster child for therapeutic abortions before disappearing under the protection of the women’s network in Nicaragua. Now, Rosita has returned to the spotlight when her stepfather was sent to jail after impregnating her and the revelation that she has an 18-month-old child. The case of Rosita raises many important human rights issues. First, as the assistant police commission of the town Masaya, where Rosita was living, said, “There are many Rositas.” Just the past two-month in Masaya, four men have been put in jail for raping their daughters or stepdaughters. What needs to be done to stop this from happening? And why is this happening in such high numbers in Nicaragua? Secondly, many people are apprehensive about the way the government is handling this situation. Many people in the women’s network fear that the president, Daniel Ortega, will use this as an opportunity for payback for supporting the sexual abuse charges against Ortega by his stepdaughter in 1998. Others even believe the government will use this situation to weaken all civil society to replace it with party-controlled organizations. Can the women’s network, which is one of the sole means of defending women’s rights in this country, be run by the government? Can the government (which one of its problems has all ready been presented in the blog below) defend human rights justly? Lastly, since Rosita received her abortion, Nicaragua has outlawed all abortions. Rosita would have died had she not received that abortion. In situations like that, does the government have the right to choose the life of the baby over the mother and not allow abortions in any circumstances?