Forced Pregnancy - Equality Now

Join the fight against Forced Pregnancy

Forced pregnancy, including forced pregnancy of young girls, is a problem across Latin America.

Forced pregnancy is defined as when a woman or girl becomes pregnant without having sought or desired it, and abortion is denied, hindered, delayed or made difficult.

Some of these pregnancies are caused by lack of sexual education or access to contraception, but many of them, especially among young girls, are caused by sexual violence, often perpetrated by relatives or acquaintances.

When abortion is illegal or inaccessible, often young girls’ lives are at risk through clandestine abortions or having to carry a child full term. Being so young, most are not prepared in either body or mind to carry out a pregnancy, give birth, or become mothers. And yet, without access to safe and legal abortion, they are forced to do so, compounding the harm from the sexual violence they’ve already suffered.

If the recent bill in Argentina had passed, it would have likely made access to abortion easier, and potentially have prevented continued physical and emotional harm to many young girls. Pregnancy and motherhood should be a free choice when a woman decides she is ready, not the result of sexual violence against a young girl.

Give your name and join us in the fight against forced pregnancy.

Equality Now is working hard to raise awareness about forced child pregnancy in Latin America, and together with local and regional partner organizations, push states to track statistics of girls younger than 15 years of age who are forced to become mothers. This will support our demands for public policies establishing adequate means and services to eradicate sexual violence against girls and forced child pregnancy including sexual education and access to safe and legal abortion. One example among many in the region is the case of Mainumby in Paraguay. Read more about her case here.

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