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Mississippi rape victim, 13, gives birth after abortion ban

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A 13-year-old schoolgirl raped by a stranger was forced to give birth due to Mississippi’s abortion ban, according to a heartbreaking new report.

The Clarksdale teenager – identified by the pseudonym Ashley – gave birth earlier this summer to a baby boy whom she nicknamed “Peanut”, her family told TIME.

Ashley was just 12 last fall when she said a stranger snatched her from her garden and raped her at the side of the house, her mother, Regina, told the magazine.

The sixth-grader didn’t tell anyone about the attack and only learned she was pregnant in January when she was taken to the emergency room for profuse vomiting.

She was so innocent that she didn’t even know how babies were made, according to her mother.

The family found it impossible to get him fired due to bans enforced in Mississippi and most surrounding states following last year’s Supreme Court ruling striking down the constitutional right to abortion.

The Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to abortion last June.
PA

Although Mississippi’s ban has an exception for rape, there are no more providers in Magnolia State, which is already widely classified as a maternity care wasteland, according to the March of Dimes.

Ashley’s mom said she wasn’t even aware Mississippi had a rape exception.

The nearest supplier was in Chicago, nine hours away. Her mother said it was impossible for her to miss work and pay for gas, food and accommodation in addition to the cost of the abortion.

“I don’t have the funds for all of this,” Regina told TIME.


Last year, abortion rights advocates posted signs of support on the privacy fence outside the Jackson Women's Health Organization.
Last year, abortion rights advocates posted signs of support on the privacy fence outside the Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The clinic was previously the only facility that performed abortions in the state.
PA

“I wish Ashley had told me when it happened. We could have had a plan B or something,” she continued.

“That would have been it.”

Ashley’s family kept her pregnancy a secret. She completed sixth grade online and will likely start seventh grade the same way, they said.

Not even the girl’s three classmates know about her baby, she told the outlet.

“We kept quiet, because people misjudge when they don’t know what’s going on,” Regina noted.


Anti-abortion protesters outside the Supreme Court.
Abortion is a hot issue among right-wing activists and politicians.
Stefani Reynolds / CNP / SplashNews.com

“It’s going to be a little private matter here.”

When asked how she felt when she found out she was pregnant, Ashley said it was not good news.

“This situation hurts the most because he was an innocent child doing what children do, playing outside, and he was my child,” his mother told TIME just two days after Peanut was born.

“It always hurts, and it always will hurt.”


Pro-choice activists object to a pro-life supporter trying to provoke arguments at the Supreme Court.
Mississippi has a rape exception, but it’s nearly impossible to get, Ashley’s story revealed.
Allison Bailey/NurPhoto/Shutters

Attempts to hold Ashley’s attacker accountable have also stalled, even after a family member thought they identified the alleged rapist on social media, the outlet noted.

There were no arrests and police did not take a DNA sample from Peanut for possible identification until TIME pressed him, the outlet said.

“That’s a pretty high priority, as a minor,” Clarksdale Police Chief Vincent Ramirez insisted.

“Sometimes they slip a bit because we have a lot to do, but then they come back to it.”

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