However, the rub lies in the implementation of the constitution: Many laws must still be revised to reflect the new rights.
Helena explained she wanted the abortion "because I didn't know who the father was. I didn't want to have a child without a father." She never reported the rape to the police.
From 2010-2011 the rate of women reporting to Percy Boland Hospital for complications from unsafe abortions rose from 4,174 to 4,709.
According to 2011 statistics from the Bolivian Ministry of Health, an estimated 67,000 abortions -- mostly illegal and unsafe -- were performed in the country. When Helena arrived at the Percy Boland Maternity Hospital last January, she was raising one child on her own. Helena worked two jobs, one at a local pastry shop, located in front of the Palace of Justice, a second as a waitress, which netted her 0 a month.
The majority of the crimes are perpetrated by a male family member. Elizabeth Salguero, a former congresswoman and currently Bolivia's ambassador to Germany, is a longtime activist for women's and indigenous rights and is all too familiar with the issue and personally knows "not just women but also little girls, adolescents (who have been raped).
I have also seen the sense of relief that follows after they get an abortion for a pregnancy that results from sexual violence." In theory, under the current penal codes Helena, as a rape survivor, could have obtained a legal abortion.