“It will be like having a doll in my arms”

Good morning, and welcome to the worst story you’ve read all day even though it’s only 9am.

Earlier this week, we covered the story of the 11-year-old Chilean girl who is pregnant as a result of rape by her mother’s partner, and who is being denied an abortion because they’re not legal in Chile, even in cases of rape, incest, and to save the mother’s life. This case ticks all three of those boxes.

Raw Story reported yesterday that Chilean President Sebastian Pinera is praising the “maturity” of this little girl because she will not seek an illegal abortion. Everything about this story makes my heart hurt:

The conservative president of Chile praised an 11-year-old girl’s “depth and maturity” for continuing a pregnancy caused by repeated rapes by her mother’s partner. According to the Associated Press, President Sebastian Pinera made the remarks to the press in an attempt to explain why the victim is not being offered the option to terminate the pregnancy.

“I’ve asked the health minister to personally look after the (girl’s) health,” Pinera said. “She’s 14 weeks pregnant, and yesterday she surprised us all with words showing depth and maturity, when she said that, despite the pain caused by the man who raped her, she wanted to have and take care of her baby.”

… The 11-year-old girl herself gave a TV interview in which her face was obscured. In it, she said, “It will be like having a doll in my arms. I’m going to love the baby very much, even though it comes from that man who hurt me.”

The man who raped the girl has been arrested and confessed to serially sexually abusing her over the course of two years, since she was nine. Her mother shocked the country when she defended her partner, saying the relationship with her daughter was consensual.

Yeah, I just… I got nothing. All I can say is that my heart breaks for this little girl, and for any person living in a place where their right to decide what happens to their own body is repeatedly violated like this. This is what is looks like when anti-choicers get their way. The most vulnerable people get hurt, and then hurt again, and sometimes, they die.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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