.- Amidst the controversy over two mentally disabled women who were permitted to undergo abortions in Mendoza and La Plata, an Argentinean newspaper has published a story on Martin, a healthy boy who was saved from abortion four years ago and today lives happily with his adopted family.
The newspaper “La Capital” published the story about the baby and how his great-grandmother saved him.
“Teresa is 64, works as a maid and lives on the south side of Rosario. Together with her husband she raised her granddaughter Marta since the time she was six months old, when she came down with meningitis and suffered serious neurological damage. Since then, Marta calls Teresa ‘Mommy,’ although she is really her grandmother,” the story indicates.
Marta is now 25 but she thinks she is only 2. Her illness left her with speech impediments, an inability to read and write, and difficulty using her hands.
When Marta turned 20, Teresa’s husband died and she intended to leave her granddaughter with her biological mother so that she could take care of her family’s affairs.
“Four months later she received an urgent phone call to come pick up Marta. ‘I found her beaten, her head shaved, and she was pregnant. I wanted to die,’ Teresa recalled.
She filed rape charges and took her granddaughter to the doctor. “The doctor told me it was a shame I hadn’t taken her earlier because, he said, they could have removed it,” she said. Marta was already five months pregnant at the time.
Nevertheless, Teresa said, “From the first moment, I said we were not going to get an abortion, even if Marta had been pregnant only one month. Although it happened because of rape, the innocent child is not to blame. Marta was carrying a life inside her and I could not allow it (the abortion). I was only concerned that Marta was okay, especially during the delivery. Afterwards we would see what we would do with the baby,” she said.
On April 16, 2002, a healthy boy named Martin was born.
“Although many people see Marta and think she doesn’t understand anything because of her mental age, she welcomed her baby with tears and immediately embraced him. She cared for him during one whole year. With the help of her grandmother, she learned to nurse him, ‘she laughed with him and even learned to change his diapers’,” Teresa added. Although Marta loved the child, the family knew she would not able to take care of him and they decided to give him up for adoption.
One of Teresa’s cousins decided to adopt the baby. “I told them I could not give him much money but I could love him and raise him,” the adoptive mother said, adding that Marta often comes to visit her son. “Today little Martin is four years old and his mischievous smile brightens his face,” she continued. “He loves videogames and birthdays.”