In late 2014, Paraguay was shaken by the news that an eleven-year old girl was pregnant. She had been raped by her mother’s boyfriend.
In media reports the anonymous young girl was called “Maynumbi” in order to protect her identity. Maynumbi is the Paraguayan Guarani indigenous word for “hummingbird.”
The justice system in Paraguay immediately intervened. The rapist was sentenced and incarcerated, and remains in prison. While the pregnant girl was interned in the International Red Cross hospital for children, her mother was investigated for her role in the crime, which meant that the pregnant girl could not remain under her care during that time. The girl’s aunt would be the only person allowed to visit the minor.
Soon enough, in early 2015, pro-abortion organizations, seeing their opportunity in the young girl’s struggle, demanded the abortion of the unborn baby conceived in rape. These organizations included International Planned Parenthood Federation and Amnesty International.
In Paraguay, abortion is only legal in order to save the life of the mother.
CLADEM and Equality Now appeared before Paraguayan government officials demanding the abortion of the unborn baby, alleging that Maynumbi was in physical danger due to the pregnancy, that she was not receiving proper medical attention, that the birth of a child conceived in rape would cause emotional anguish. The government officials rejected their demands, demonstrating that the pregnant minor and her unborn baby were in very good health, and that they were receiving the best available care.
In May of last year, CLADEM petitioned the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States (OAS), asking that a precautionary measure be issued in favor of abortion. In June 2015, the IACHR granted the petition.
The Government of Paraguay, exercising its national sovereignty, rejected the IACHR precautionary measure, protecting the young mother’s health, as well as the life and health of her unborn child.
CLADEM criticized Paraguay and was joined by the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations.
Among those who traveled to Paraguay at that time to provide public support to Maynumbi and her unborn baby were Dr. Rafael Cabrera-Artola MD who is the President of the Nicaraguan Association for Life (HLI Nicaragua) and an international expert known for his refutation of the claim that abortion is necessary for medical reasons; and Gualberto García-Jones, director of the International Human Rights Group.
It is clear that the OAS has substantially distanced itself from its original purpose, which is to assist its Member States in the areas of democracy, human rights, security, and development. The OAS’s radical advocacy for abortion has now made it an opponent of many of its member states, particularly in their laws that protect unborn children and define traditional marriage.
Maynumbi is certainly young, but she is quite intelligent. After counseling from medical professionals, she understood that she was pregnant, and what that meant. Once she understood her situation, she clearly told her aunt: “Then I hope that the baby is a girl and I want her name to be Milagros (Miracle).” On Thursday, August 13, 2015, baby Milagros was born in perfect health. Maynumbi has certainly suffered a great ordeal, but in having support and receiving fine medical care and counseling, she has been spared the additional pain of abortion. From the moment Milagros was born, Maynumbi asserted that she would care for her, with the support of her extended family, in spite of their financial needs.
Today, Maynumbi is twelve years old and lives in a government-provided house situated on the compound with three generations of her extended family. Maynumbi also receives therapeutic care and continues with her schooling. She and “Mili,” as the baby is affectionately called, receive food and medicine from the Archdiocese of Asuncion and the local community. And there are toys for Mili, of course! Mili’s grandmother and aunt are supporting Mili while Maynumbi is in school.
The family is drawing closer to God through the Catholic faith. Whenever I visit the family, I leave with so much joy and gratitude for God’s mercy.
On Saturday, August 13, 2016, Milagros celebrated her first birthday, the child who survived of all the efforts made by large international pro-abortion organizations to end her life. Her first birthday party in the family home was a celebration so magnificent that it easily rivaled any birthday party of a child born into a wealthy family. Little Mili has an incredible amount of love in her heart to give to the world.
(Nereida Brumat-Decker is an attorney from Argentina who presently resides in Paraguay. She represents Feminine Vision (Con Mirada de Mujer), a Catholic-oriented pro-life and pro-family civil society organization in Argentina.)