February 17, 2013
A bizarre series of events that took place in the western Jalisco state of Mexico has led to the forced sterilization of a young girl who recently gave birth to her first, and now only, child. According to the U.K.’s Daily Mail, nine-year-old Dafne, whose last name has been withheld to protect her identity, was only eight years old when she got pregnant with Maria de Los Angeles, who was recently delivered at Zoquipan Hospital in Guadalajara, which prompted authorities to sterilize young Dafne without her parents’ consent.
Because Mexican law prohibits anyone under the age of 15 from having sex, even if they give consent, the hospital decided that young Dafne still needed to be sterilized, presumably for her own safety. Dafne’s parents; however, never actually gave permission to Zoquipan Hospital to administer the procedure, and in fact refused it, which is why they are now calling on the local human rights commission to take action against those responsible.
Mexican government: If you have sex before age 15, you will be sterilized
As far as the situation itself goes, neighbors and local authorities are incensed not only because Dafne got pregnant at eight years old, but also because the girl’s parents say they have no idea who the father is. Rumors have circulated that Dafne’s boyfriend, who would have been 15 at the time, may be the father, while others claim that Dafne’s creepy stepfather may have molested her. The family’s neighbors claim that this unnamed stepfather used to beat Dafne, and also shared baths with her, suggesting a possible match.
“What he has done has shamed our family,” explained one relative of the stepfather to the Daily Mail, assuming his guilt. “I don’t know why the girl’s mother lets him carry on the way he has. They’re both liars and I think it’s terrible what has happened. Dafne is a child. She’s just a child. The girl’s mother is in love with him (the stepfather) so she protects him, and this is what happens.”
According to reports, Dafne’s mother was unaware that children under the age of 15 cannot legally have sex, which is why she and the other family members nonchalantly brought Dafne to the hospital to give birth. Young Dafne, who allegedly stays home all day cooking and cleaning rather than attending school, claims she did not even know she was pregnant until about two months prior to giving birth. Many now worry about Dafne’s safety, with some reports claiming that she may actually have AIDS as a result of her mother’s alleged, but unconfirmed, prostitution habit.
“We are looking for the young man (the boyfriend) to get his story because she does not understand what has happened,” said Jorge Villasenor from the state prosecutors’ office, referring to young Dafne’s confusion about the whole situation. “Her parents work all day and were not watching after her. This is a rape or child sex abuse case.”