Planned Parenthood Global, Amnesty International, Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida Mexico (GIRE) and Latin American Campaign against Unsafe Abortion (CLACAI) have joined efforts to raise awareness on forced motherhood and its impact on girls’ lives and futures across Latin America through the “Niñas, No Madres” (Girls, Not Mothers) regional campaign. The campaign calls for comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and safe, legal abortion services to end forced motherhood in girls in Latin America.
In the framework of the International Day of Action for Women’s Health, the campaign launched a call to women to share on social media what was their dream when they were girls, along with a childhood photo. The response was amazing: women from all over the region lit up social media with the hashtag #NiñasNoMadres. The timelines, full of cute pictures, brought attention to the toll that forced motherhood has taken on thousands of girls in the region. More than 40 national and international media outlets published pieces about the campaign, including Huffington Post, BuzzFeed and AJ+.
Latin America is the only region in the world where births among girls under 15 years old is on the rise. Forced motherhood in girls is an urgent public health and human rights problem.
In Guatemala, five girls under the age of 14 become pregnant every day. In Nicaragua, the number of pregnant girls aged 10-14 years old increased 47% from 2001 to 2009. In Ecuador, pregnancy among girls under the age of 15 has increased by 74% in the last decade. In Peru, every year, more than 1,100 births are to girls 12-13 years old.
Planned Parenthood Global has produced the report “Stolen Lives” in English and Spanish, which summarizes qualitative and quantitative research conducted in Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Peru to document the dire physical, mental, and social health consequences of forced pregnancy on girls living in these countries. This report was used as input for the Hemispheric Report on Sexual Violence and Child Pregnancy recently released by the Organization of American States’ Committee of Experts of the Follow-Up Mechanism to the Belém do Pará Convention (MESECVI), which issues recommendations to States, including “ensuring that all pregnancies in girls are considered high risk and allowing legal termination of pregnancy.”
SOURCE: Planned Parenthood Global, email 17 July 2017