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No Charges in Nicaraguan Girl’s Abortion

March 3, 2003

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) _ The parents and doctors of a 9-year-old girl who received an abortion two weeks ago will not face charges, Nicaragua’s attorney general said Monday.

Maria del Carmen Solorzano said the abortion didn’t break any laws because it was carried out to save the girl’s life. Nicaraguan law allows abortions when the mother’s life is in danger or when the fetus has severe deformities.

The girl’s parents say she was raped in Costa Rica four months ago, and Solorzano said three children in Costa Rica confirmed seeing a 20-year-old man have sex with the girl on three different occasions.

A man was arrested in Costa Rica, and prosecutors are seeking DNA samples from the girl’s fetus to prove he was her rapist.

The girl’s parents brought her back to Nicaragua for an abortion, which was performed Feb. 20. The attorney general started an investigation to determine if the abortion was legal after Health Minister Lucia Salvo called the abortion a crime and church leaders said they had excommunicated those who had promoted and carried out the procedure.

The Network of Women Against Violence said the procedure was legal as it was performed on doctor’s orders. But a government medical commission said it was not clear the abortion was medically justified, insisting the procedure was as risky as giving birth.

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