Last night, I went to the International House on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania to watch a film. I even missed my African Dance class to attend. I expect this post to anger some people.
The documentary is called Rosita and it's the true story of an eight year old girl who was raped and became pregnant. Stop reading here if you are an extreme pro-life proponent.
The problem: She lives in Costa Rica and is of Nicaraguan parents.
Maybe I'm wrong, but even extreme pro-life people in the US usually would concede that in the case of an eight-year old girl, abortion should be an option. (Note: I took the clause "who was raped" out of the above sentence, because really... what 8 year old that becomes pregnant is not a victim of rape? I remember being 8 very clearly, sex was not on my mind)
Not in Costa Rica, and only for "therapeutic" abortions in Nicaragua. Therapeutic abortions are granted only in cases where the mother's health is seriously in jeopardy.
The film centered on the battle between the Catholic Church, who offered to adopt the unborn child, and the girl's parents. The parents, partially acting on the indications of their daughter, decided to go through with the pursuing the abortion. The Minister of the Family and the Minister of Health both vehemently opposed the abortion and tried to remove the child from the family. The media attention was extreme.
In the end, after many examinations, one grueling hearing with the accused rapist, and 4 months of fighting, Rosita was granted the abortion.
The accused rapist was never brought to trial.
The update from the filmmaker last night was, unfortunately, not that surprising. Rosita, now 13, has a 19-month old child. Speculation is that the father of the Rosita's child is her stepfather.
Why does it seem that victims of unspeakable crimes in our society continue to be victimized. Rosita was raped at 8, used as a media tool by both sides of a polarizing issue for months, and then raped again.
Perhaps it was because she was marked by the modern scarlet letter "A."
The film is available for purchase through Bullfrog Films.