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  • Pro Choice protesters gathered outside the hospital on the day of the c-section and in front of the health ministry, demanding Bouhid’s resignation.

    Pro Choice protesters gathered outside the hospital on the day of the c-section and in front of the health ministry, demanding Bouhid’s resignation. | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 January 2019

The baby, named Esperanza and weighing only 700 grams, died on Tuesday evening from health complications.

The death of a premature baby girl in Argentina, the daughter of a 12-year-old rape victim, has triggered protests and calls from Pro-Choice advocacy groups in the survivor’s defense.

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Assaulted by her 65-year-old neighbor six months ago, the young mother was granted the right to abort the fetus by the Supreme Court. However, her doctors refused and after some deliberation  Minister of Health of Jujuy, Gustavo Bouhid, determined that the fetus “exceeded the gestation time set by the province’s protocol.”

So her parents agreed allow their daughter, now nearly 25 weeks pregnant (or six months), to undergo a painful cesarean section on January 18. The baby, named Esperanza (Hope) and weighing on 700 grams, died on Tuesday from health complications at 8:30 p.m. local time.

Pro-Lifers had demanded doctors postpone the operation, citing the risks to life of child and mother. Now an NGO named MAS VIDA announced that it is launching an investigation into the baby’s death and plans to put to “trial and punish those responsible.”

“The death of Esperanza was a homicide, because there was no medical reason to deny the gestational training that was missing and today on his body we must swallow the tears that as a nation causes us the impotence of being governed by the worst, those who order to end with a pregnancy of six months, in an outrage against Human Rights unprecedented,” said the organization.

Pro Choice protesters gathered outside the hospital on the day of the c-section and in front of the health ministry, demanding Bouhid’s resignation, reminding the state that the victim’s mother was in full support of the abortion. Since the incident, the hashtag  #AbortoLegalEsVida (LegalAbortionIsLife) has helped the pro-choice movement gain support from around the world.

Twitter User, Julieta Calderon, writes, “This case is to be brought before the @CIDH. We cannot allow them to continue to breach the law to torture raped girls. #AbortoLegalEsVida #Esperanza.”

Another user, Feminasty, tweeted, “The next time you think about saying "don’t mess with my kids" let's remind that they messed with someone's daughter when they raped her, when they decided to all the pregnancy to continue its course and when she was forced to give birth #AbortoLegalEsVida.”

Another Tweet from Juliata #NiUnaMenos, said, “"They made her suffer" "They snatched his life" you, against the law, forced a girl of 12 to give birth. You are neither pro-life nor pro-fetus. They are pro-torture, pro-clandestine abortions, pro perch. They're the backwardness of the Middle Ages. #AbortoLegalEsVida #SalvemosALasPibas #Esperanza.”

Argentina’s Senate rejected a bill in August seeking to legalize abortion and threw out an initiative already approved by the deputies, despite a wide controversy that divided the country for months.

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