Sociology has the answer: part V- What happens when authorities collide with each other?


The horrifying story of the 10 years old pregnant girl in Paraguay leaves me with a bitter taste. For the ones who do not know exactly what the case is about, it has all started when a 10 years old girl has arrived at the hospital because of an abdominal pain. The doctors discovered that this girl is pregnant. If you wonder who the father of the baby is, well the father of the baby is the stepfather of the 10 year old girl who apparently has decided to take the same path as other animals of his type considering the fact that in Uruguay two births per day are given from girls that did not turned 14 yet. But the problem of this story from a sociological manner is the one of the authorities involved in the case. The controversy starts when the authorities of the hospital have denied the abortion process stating that the girl is not at risk. The minister of Paraguay also stated that “We must respect constitution where it is written that we must preserve life over anything else. Life is considered from the moment of conception.” On the other side there is the World Health Organisation which states that giving birth can be quite dangerous for a 10 years old girl as she is not fully developed. Even the law says that it is legal to consider an abortion for a woman that is in risk.

As a result and as an answer to my question from the title, a chaos is created.  Authorities do not respond that well to the problem. For instance the authorities of this issue got the mother under police custody and she was charged because of negligence while the rapist stepfather is still free on the streets. Sociology states that an authority is a socially approved use of power. Also subordinates have to accept the orders included by the authority. The legal authorities according to Max Weber`s concept have a system of rules that is applied. In our case the legal authority can be the minister who denies right away for the abortion to be considered based on the laws of the state. It is clear that this authority is respected and no one thinks about making a change. But the Minister`s opinion collides with the opinion of World Health Organisation. While the 10 years old girl can be in danger authorities do not even think about the future of this girl and the idea of a child raising another child. There are more chances that after giving to birth the girl will remain anonymous and without authorities around. She will not get that much support not just for the baby but not even for herself if everything goes right with the pregnancy. When authorities collide the supreme authority of the two is the one that is taken into account. But the legal authorities in this case respect the law just because it is written in the Constitution or the authorities should look more for support when it comes about citizens?  I invite you to reflect more about this aspect!

Written by Crina Molnar



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