An average of 69 girls or adolescents become pregnant each day in El Salvador
(AFP Photo/Schneyder Mendoza)
San Salvador (AFP) - Nearly one in three pregnancies in El Salvador are to girls under 19, according to a UN report released Friday that highlights social pressures in the country, which bans abortion.
In 2015, 30 percent of the 83,500 pregnancies in El Salvador were to "adolescents aged between 10 and 19," the study by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said.
An average of 69 girls or adolescents become pregnant each day in the country, amounting to around three pregnancies an hour, it added.
Health Minister Violeta Menjivar called the figures "extremely worrying."
Some 1,500 girls aged 10 to 14 were included in the pregnancy statistics, which "theoretically means 1,500 people raped," she said, presenting the report in a news conference alongside UNFPA representative Hugo Gonzalez.
She called for changes to laws that currently stipulate 40-year prison sentences for women who abort, even in cases of complications during pregnancy.
One wonders what the prison sentence for rape of a minor is? Or what the conviction rate is for rapists. If it is like most countries the per cent of rapists convicted is in the low single digits.
But reducing the pregnancies through abortion is the wrong way to go about it. Reducing the number of rapes of children is far more important.