The case of a 10-year-old girl in Paraguay who became pregnant after allegedly being raped by her stepfather and was denied an abortion by the authorities has sparked international outrage and drawn condemnation from the United Nations. Similar extreme cases have been reported all throughout Latin America (abortion is completely illegal in Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, and Honduras) and they highlight some of the struggles for reproductive rights advocates, as they face these bans, as well as class discrimination and limits on sexual health education. A couple of those advocates shared their experiences with Cosmopolitan, highlighting the importance of decriminalization, sex education and safe access to contraception. For example, Monica Arango, regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Center for Reproductive Rights, argued that “The reality in Latin America is that the brunt of injustice is really carried by women who are in the most vulnerable situations. Women who are educated and have a better financial situation are in a place where they will have access to contraceptives, information, and all the range of reproductive services, even in-vitro fertilization, whereas women who are poor or have no education or are from rural areas are, as we can see with recent examples in El Salvador, being jailed for having miscarriages.”
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