An 11-year-old girl in Brazil who was raped and did not want to give birth after becoming pregnant received a legal abortion of the fetus seven weeks after appealing to the court, sparking anger over poor abortion rights legislation in Brazil. the country.
The case also called into question the alleged conduct of the judge in the case, who told the girl to “hold on a little longer”.
The girl had appealed to court last month when her pregnancy had reached 22 weeks and doctors refused to abort the fetus citing the length of the pregnancy, said her lawyer Daniela Félix.
After the seventh month, the Polydoro Ernani hospital in Sao Thiago finally took “measures to interrupt the minor’s pregnancy” after the girl’s family made a formal request, federal prosecutors in the state of Santa Catarina said on Thursday. the south of Brazil.
The girl, who had refused to give birth but faced pressure from authorities, received the abortion on Wednesday night.
She was 10 years old when she was raped but had turned 11 when she was informed of the pregnancy.
What sparked a new wave of public reaction were the judge’s methods and her comments while hearing the case in which she refuted the girl’s request for an abortion.
At a hearing on May 9, Judge Joana Ribeiro Zimmer asked the girl if she understood how pregnancies happen. Ms Zimmer also suggested that the girl “wait a little longer” to save the fetus, she showed a video of the court proceedings.
Ms. Zimmer also backed the doctors who refused to perform the abortion and denied the girl’s request.
The judge also reportedly isolated the girl from her family and ordered her to be placed in a state shelter.
According to local police and prosecutors, the girl’s relatives are suspected of the crime.
The judge is now under investigation for preventing the preteen from accessing an abortion and terminating the unwanted pregnancy, officials with Brazil’s judicial watchdog agency, the National Justice Council, said on Thursday.
An investigation into the case was launched on Tuesday, the council said.
Human rights groups and magistrates called for Ms Zimmer’s removal as a judge after the case was widely reported in Brazil last week.
The judge said that “she will not speak about parts of the hearing”, which, according to her, “were illegally leaked”.
Ms Zimmer said she will remain silent on the case “to ensure due and full protection of the child”.
Ms. Zimmer’s handling of the case will be investigated by the same judicial system in Santa Catarina in southern Brazil, from where the decision will be forwarded to its own court in the southern Brazilian state.
It will then be sent to Brazil’s national watchdog for a final decision.
The case has also taken a political angle, with President Jair Bolsonaro’s son backing Zimmer’s decision and saying he agrees with the judge.
“We must bear in mind that the first to stop this abortion were in a medical team. Let’s respect science,” said legislator Eduardo Bolsonaro.
The denial of abortion also provoked retaliation in the international community.
“A judge in Brazil refused to allow an 11-year-old rape victim to have an abortion and ordered the girl to be detained to prevent her from trying to have one. This is the kind of rights-abuse madness that the United States can expect…” Human Rights Watch European media director Andrew Stroehlein said, referring to the pending ruling in the landmark Roe v Wade case.