Chile's president praised an 11-year-old girl on Tuesday for her "depth and maturity" after she said in a recent TV interview that she wants to give birth to the baby who was conceived when she was raped by her mother's partner, according to The Huffington Post.
The Independent reported that President Piñera commended the child, known only as Belén, for her "wisdom and depth [after] she said that, despite the pain the man who raped her caused, she would love and support her baby."
Belén, who is 14 weeks pregnant, was reportedly abused by her stepfather, who has subsequently been arrested.
The Independent also stated that Chile's child protection agency also appealed for Belén's mother to be kept away from the child after she told local media that the sexual relationship was consensual.
"It will be like having a doll in my arms," the girl, whose face was obscured during the interview, told local TV station Canal 13. "I'm going to love the baby very much, even though it comes from that man who hurt me."
"I've asked the health minister to personally look after the (girl's) health," Pinera said.
"She's 14 weeks pregnant, and yesterday she surprised us all with words showing depth and maturity, when she said that, despite the pain caused by the man who raped her, she wanted to have and take care of her baby."
Experts say the girl's life is at risk and that she is not prepared to make a decision about her pregnancy.
Giorgio Agostini, a forensic psychologist who has worked on dozens of child sex abuse cases, said:
"At that age the girl doesn't have a capacity of discernment, not even at age 14 would she have the mental and emotional capacity to discern this."
"It's very likely that she is saying that she wants to have the baby like a living doll. We've seen this in other investigations," Agostini said.
"So what the president is saying doesn't get close to the psychological truth of an 11-year-old-girl. It's a subjective view that is not based on any scientific reasoning to support it."
Chile's president, Sebastian Pinera, is getting a lot of criticism for praising an 11-year-old rape victim for keeping her baby. What do you think of this situation?