When she was just 14-years-old, Argentine teenager Pamela Villarruel gave birth to her first child. The birth would set her down a path that she could not turn away from. For the next two years, she got pregnant back to back and subsequently gave birth to six more children. Now she has a total of seven in her brood.
Pamela lives at her parents’ home in the town of Leones in Cordoba Province, in northern Argentina. Although she only had three pregnancies, she gave birth to seven children. The first boy came in 2005. Then the other six girls were delivered in two different pregnancies each with triplets.
Now, Pamela is asking the public to give her money so she can have an operation to stop her from ever having children again…
Living in her parents’ living room in difficult. Her mother supports them all and works nonstop as a house cleaner to afford the large family.
Pamela has not had luck with men. The father of her first son abandoned them. The father of the first set of triplets was sent away because he was violent and continuously beat Pamela. The father of the third triplets is a mystery. Pamela refuses to admit who it is, if she even knows.
Because Pamela’s mother Magdalena is forced to care for all of them – including her daughter – she has asked that Pamela have her fallopian tubes tied. Since the girl does not use birth control, she has no other way to protect herself from an unwanted pregnancy. And with seven children, anymore would put them over the edge.
Besides increased risk of getting pregnant, teens that do not use contraceptive devices like condoms are at greater risk of contracting HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. According to a study conducted by the Guttmacher Institute, nearly three million teens contract STDs every year. And if these go untreated, they can result in lifelong problems like infertility.
Do you think Argentina should have allowed the teenage girl to have her tubes tied? Or is the government right to stop it?
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