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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We need to put a stop to this! Join Apne Aap and Equality Now to ask Prime Minister Modi to ensure that justice is not denied to her family!
Despite the brutal nature of the crime committed by powerful men against an innocent child, some groups have politicized the case by presenting it falsely as a case against the Hindu community. They are running media trials, trolling, filing false cases, deflecting blame and holding rallies in support of the perpetrators and against the lawyers. Some of these rallies have been attended by ministers from the Prime Minister's ruling party.
They are even hounding the entire nomadic shepherd community of Bakarwals, that the little girl belonged to. Attempts were been made to physically prevent the charges against the accused rapists being filed in court and later to weaken the investigation by shifting it to the CBI.
Though an increasing number of rape cases are being reported in India every day, survivors of sexual violence struggle to get justice within the legal system. Between 2015 and 2016 alone there was an 82% spike in reported rapes of children. Another 133,000 rape cases were pending trial in the same year.
Raise your voice to demand a fair and impartial trial in the Kathua case, so that the family of the 8-year-old gets justice. Insist that the Modi government take immediate action to stop the intimidation and to address the larger systemic problem of sexual violence within the country.
Call on Prime Minister Modi to:
- Take steps to ensure that a fair trial of the Kathua rape and murder case can take in place in an unbiased atmosphere
- Provide protection to all those associated with the case including the witnesses, victim’s family and lawyers.
- Stop politically motivated media campaigns and rallies held to support the accused or malign the lawyers and witnesses and allow the law to take its own course
- Resist the continuing demands of the accused to shift the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), despite the fact that no fault can be found with the investigation done by the J and K police. Any attempt to shift the investigation at this late stage would hamper investigations and affect the trial and demoralize the police in J and K and would only benefit the accused
- Effectively enforce and implement existing laws on sexual violence and allocate adequate resources to combat sexual violence.
- Implement all the recommendations made by the Justice Verma Committee, including police reforms, reforms in the management of cases related to crime against women, and education reforms, most of which are yet to be implemented.
- Address impunity at all levels, by bringing perpetrators of all such crimes to justice, without political bias.
- Issue a clear directive from your office that the harassment, character assassination, arrests of any lawyers and witnesses in the trail will be punishable as tampering and intimidation.
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