ONCE again, Spain's healthcare system is the best in Europe – it's official. And State medical services in the country are the third-most efficient on earth, beaten only by those of Hong Kong and Singapore...
Father of 11-year-old girl's baby is her brother aged 14
THE father of a baby born to an 11-year-old girl at Murcia's La Arrixaca Hospital is the infant's uncle, who is just 14, according to police and social services.
As is always the case when a minor becomes pregnant, authorities open an inquiry into the family environment to find out whether child sex abuse is involved, or whether the parents are guilty of neglect through 'failure to supervise adequately'.
In the case of the little Bolivian girl who went into labour at the weekend, her 14-year-old brother has turned out to be the baby's father.
As yet, it has still not been revealed whether the two children had a consenting relationship or whether the younger sister was abused by her older brother.
The girl was rushed into A&E by her parents when she complained of serious stomach pains, since her family did not know she was pregnant – and it is believed the young mother was also ignorant of her condition.
Medics quickly discovered the 'pains' were caused by her going into labour, although despite the mother's young age meaning the pregnancy and birth posed an extreme risk to her life, she did not need surgery and is now on a maternity ward with her newborn son, who is, it has transpired, also her nephew.
Hers is the second case in the same hospital in less than three months – a 12-year-old girl from an undisclosed South American country gave birth at La Arrixaca (pictured) in November.
In Spain, anyone under 18 is considered a 'minor' and therefore a 'child', meaning police and social services even investigated a case of a 16-year-old woman who gave birth at home in Torre Pacheco, near Murcia, at the weekend.
They found out that the baby, who is currently in intensive care, was the result of a consenting relationship between the young mum and a man of her own age.
Around 100 mums aged 14 or less reported every year
It is estimated that around 100 girls a year under 15 give birth in Spain.
Underage pregnancy continues to be rare among Spaniards compared with other western nations, and the figure for mothers aged 14 or less has remained stable since the 1990s, having been between double and treble in the 1970s and 1980s.
Since the Millennium, the highest number of pregnancies in girls under 15 was in 2008, with 178 cases, and the lowest so far has been 2015, with 98.
Numbers are higher for older minors – in 2016, the last year for which full figures are available, a total of 343 girls aged 15 had babies, 818 at age 16 and 1,408 when they were 17.
It is thought that the number of pregnancies in very young girls will be lower for 2017 since, two years earlier, the minimum legal age of sexual consent was raised to 16 from 13.
Sexual relations with anyone aged 15 or under is now a criminal offence and considered child abuse, unless it is a consenting act between two underage persons who are close in age and level of maturity.
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