A 10-year-old girl allegedly impregnated by her stepfather will not be allowed to have an abortion under Paraguay’s laws, drawing ire from United Nations experts who say forcing her to have the child constitutes a human rights violation.

The girl’s pregnancy was the subject of a series of protests across the country Monday, drawing additional support from Amnesty International, the AP reports. But the Paraguayan government is standing by its assertion that the child has no recourse except to carry the baby to term, saying that at five months she is “too advanced”.

In a statement released in Geneva, the four [United Nations human rights] experts said Paraguay has refused to provide treatment to save the life of the girl, who is five months pregnant, “including safe and therapeutic abortion in a timely manner.”

The case has set off a national debate in Paraguay where abortion is banned in all cases — even rape — except when the mother’s life is in danger.

“The Paraguayan authorities’ decision results in grave violations of the rights to life, to health, and to the physical and mental integrity of the girl as well as her right to education, jeopardizing her economic and social opportunities,” the experts said.

The World Health Organization says such child pregnancies can be dangerous, potentially leading to complications and death.

In the meantime, the country is prosecuting both parents—the stepfather for rape and the mother for neglect. Both are currently in detention centers and the girl is reportedly being treated at a Red Cross hospital.

[image via AP]

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