12-year-old girl gives birth at Australian hospital
A 12-year-old girl has given birth at an Australian hospital, authorities confirmed.
The girl, whose identity was not revealed, had her baby earlier this month in Perth, Western Australia with the help of the Department of Communities and other agencies.
“A co-ordinated response is required from a range of State Government and external support agencies both in the short and long term in order to make a lasting difference to the wellbeing of all affected parties,” said Jackie Tang of the Department of Communities.
“The Department of Communities, the WA Police and Department of Health work together intensively in the best interests of all concerned.”
According to local reports, the girl became pregnant at the age of 11.
“If there are concerns that a child may have been sexually abused or is likely to be sexually abused, Communities undertakes a thorough assessment of the situation,” Tang told Midland Reporter.
“Where necessary, the matter will be referred to the WA Police for further investigation and referrals to appropriate supports are provided.”
WA Health Department statistics show that there have been 12 registered births to 12-year-old girls since 1980. In 2015, adolescent pregnancies accounted for 2.7 per cent of all pregnancies in Australia.
Adolescent pregnancy poses more health risks to women. The World Health Organization said mothers aged 10 to 19 are more likely to deal with eclampsia, infections and puerperal endometritis.