Rape victim aged 11 vows to keep and love her child
But Chilean president's words of approval spark abortion row
President Sebastian Pinera (picture: Wikimedia Commons)
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera has praised as "brave and mature" a pregnant 11-year-old rape victim who said she was happy to have the child.
The girl said during a TV interview the child would be "like having a doll".
Experts criticised Mr Pinera's comments as having no scientific foundation.
Mr Pinera supports Chile's abortion laws, which outlaw the practice in all circumstances. His critics want it legalised in cases of rape, and want the girl to be allowed an abortion.
The 11-year-old girl appeared in a TV interview on Monday, saying: "I'm going to love the baby very much, even though it comes from that man who hurt me.
"It will be like having a doll in my arms."
The girl was raped repeatedly over a two-year period by her mother's boyfriend, who has since been arrested.
Mr Pinera said he had asked the health minister to personally look after the girl's health.
"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," he said.
Forensic psychologist Giorgio Agostini said the girl would not have the mental or emotional capacity to understand her situation.
He is expected to prepare for a possible visit by Pope Francis to the Hindu-majority country
Government move makes healthcare affordable to all
Ecumenical group call on Duterte to show resolve as negotiation is the 'only way' to end deadly conflict
Hundreds of doctors had bribed their way into medical schools
The controversial but much-loved Chinese bishop died at age 74 after suffering a stroke