Brazil: raped girl (11) gets abortion after initial refusal

BRASILIA, Brazil — Brazilian prosecutors said Thursday that a raped 11-year-old girl had a legal abortion after a judge blocked her from terminating her pregnancy for weeks.

Federal prosecutors in Santa Catarina state said in a statement that the Polydoro Ernani de São Thiago hospital has “taken steps to interrupt the minor’s pregnancy” following a formal request on behalf of the girl’s family.

The hospital said in a statement it could not comment on the case because it falls under the secrecy of the Brazilian justice system.

Doctors had previously refused to perform the procedure because the child was in her 22nd week of pregnancy.

Some anti-abortion activists claim the Ministry of Health’s recommendations push for a 20 to 22 week limit for the procedure. But Daniela Félix, a lawyer for the child’s family, and other legal experts said Brazilian law does not specify a limit in cases of rape victims or when a woman’s life is in danger.

The 11-year-old, who was 10 when she was raped, was in her 29th week when the abortion was finally performed Wednesday night, amid outrage against Judge Joana Ribeiro Zimmer for her actions in the case.

Earlier this week, Brazil’s judicial watchdog said it would investigate Zimmer because he asked the child during a videotaped hearing on May 9 if she understood how pregnancies happen and suggested the girl “hold on a little longer” to save the fetus. .

The girl repeatedly said that she did not want to give birth.

Brazilian law allows abortion in three cases: rape; risk to the mother’s life; and cases of anencephaly, in which a fetus has no functioning brain.

The case has sparked a debate between supporters of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro and those of left-wing ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Bolsonaro, who is running for reelection against da Silva, tweeted after news of the girl’s abortion emerged: “A baby from a seven-month pregnancy.”

“We don’t talk about the way it was conceived, whether the law allows it or not. It is inadmissible to take this defenseless creature’s life!” He wrote.

Da Silva said in April everyone should be able to have an abortion, but within days he withdrew, saying he is against abortion, although he believes women should be given choice as a matter of public health.

The case, reported last week by the website The Intercept Brasil, prompted associations of magistrates and human rights organizations to request that Zimmer be removed from her position.

Zimmer said in a statement Wednesday that she “will not speak about parts of the hearing, which have been illegally leaked”. She also said she will remain silent on the matter “to ensure the appropriate and full protection of the child”.

The investigation into Zimmer’s methods will be conducted by the same Santa Catarina court system in southern Brazil and the decision will be referred to its own court in the state of southern Brazil, then taken for the national watchdog to make its final decision. †

Savarese message from Sao Paulo.

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