Case of pregnant 10-year-old divides Paraguay

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ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — One of Paraguay's leading churchmen says "the country is divided in two" over the case of a pregnant 10-year-old girl denied an abortion.

The argument over the girl has drawn unusually strong attention to issues of child abuse and abortion, which is banned in all cases except when the mother's life is in danger.

Msgr. Claudio Gimenez said in Sunday's homily that, in his words, "Some want to legalize abortion, the killing of an innocent who still is in a period of gestation."

On the other side is former Health Minister Esperanza Martinez. She says officials' focus on whether the girl is physically able to bear a child overlooks her own mental and physical wellbeing. In Martinez's words: "This girl became a uterus. She became a birth canal."

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