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Girl, 10, Gets Abortion Go Ahead

October 3, 1998

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) _ A Brazilian medical team has given the go-ahead for a pregnant 10-year-old rape victim to undergo an abortion, health officials said Friday.

The girl, who is four months pregnant, can receive the abortion at a public hospital, said state health spokesperson Maria Cristina Gorgueira. It was not known when the procedure would be performed.

``Nine doctors and specialists have examined the girl’s condition over three days and do not see any obstacle to conducting the abortion,″ Gorgueira said.

The girl was repeatedly raped over three years by two of her neighbors in Israelandia, a rural town in central Goias state, about 560 miles northwest of Sao Paulo. Both men have been arrested and face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

For two weeks, the girl has been at the center of a debate about whether she should have an abortion. Several Roman Catholic Church officials have urged her parents not to allow it.

In Brazil, abortion is legal only in cases of rape or when a mother’s life would be endangered by childbirth.

A court of appeals on Monday upheld the girl’s right to have an abortion.

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