A court in Brazil has barred an 11-year-old girl from obtaining an abortion after she fell pregnant after being raped, sparking considerable uproar.
Joana Ribeiro Zimmer is being probed after it was revealed yesterday that she declined to assist the anonymous girl who was raped at her family home in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.
The girl was raped earlier this year and was taken to a doctor in Florianopolis by her mom when she was 22 weeks pregnant.
A doctor declined to execute the abortion, claiming that they could only do abortions on people up to 20 weeks pregnant and that they needed a court order.
The matter was subsequently heard by Judge Zimmer, who allegedly told the court that if the mom intended to protect her kid, she would not “subject her to homicide.”
There are no more specifics about the rape or the perpetrator of the girl, who is currently in her 29th week of pregnancy.
Abortion is prohibited in Brazil and can result in prison time, unless the victim is raped and the mom’s life is in danger.
The girl and her mom were examined by a doctor on May 4 at the Polydoro Ernani de So Thiago University Hospital, according to the report. They then informed a hospital psychologist that they did not wish to continue the pregnancy.
Two days later, Santa Catarina Public Ministry prosecutor Mirela Dutra Alberton asked the court to place her in a shelter.
In court records, the prosecution stated that pregnancy is dangerous, stating, ‘Clearly, a kid at a young age does not have a biological structure in the formative period suited for a pregnancy.’
When the case approached the Santa Catarina court, Judge Zimmer sent the girl to a women’s shelter to safeguard her from her abuser.
Her anonymous mom allegedly stated that if she had not been brought to the shelter, she would have done the abortion on her daughter herself.
The judge also informed the mom that if she had allowed the child to have an abortion, she would not be saving her daughter, but rather exposing her to murder.
The Santa Catarina Court of Justice has now stated that its Internal Affairs Office is now investigating Judge Zimmer’s judgement.
The issue has sparked significant condemnation in the predominantly Catholic country, with experts reported in local media claiming that there is no legal foundation for the scenario, nor for the hospital’s attitude nor for the judge’s judgement.
In a statement, the Court stated that they had “launched a petition for administrative procedures for the appropriate examination of the evidence.”
According to the IPAS organisation, which advocates for abortion rights in Brazil, ‘Because Brazilian legislation only allows abortion in situations of rape, foetal anencephaly, or risk to life, the country’s Ministry of Health reported just 1,626 legal abortions in a country of 203 million people in 2012.
‘Yet, one million Brazilian women are anticipated to undergo abortions each year. Many of these women, especially those who lack the financial or social resources to consult a well-trained, willing provider, face serious legal consequences if they choose to terminate an undesired pregnancy.
‘The bodily implications can be terrible as well.’
The investigation is still underway. The preterm infant of a 12-year-old Bolivian girl who was reportedly raped by her grandpa died last week after the girl was refused abortion.
Abortion is permitted in Bolivia for rape and incest victims, although it can only be performed up to the 22nd week of pregnancy.
The expectant woman pleaded to be permitted to abort the startling pregnancy, but she was informed it was too late. Medics at Cochabamba’s German Urquidi Maternal and Child Hospital had dismissed her requests since she was six months pregnant at the time.
The hospital’s reluctance to end the young girl’s pregnancy startled Bolivia, prompting many to advocate for abortion regulations to be changed.
The baby was born through C-section in the 29th week of the pregnancy. The preterm newborn’s condition was precarious, and it was placed in an incubator before dying.
The girl was allegedly raped by her grandfather in Senda F, Chimore municipality.
The old dad, a farmer, was found to have raped his granddaughter several times before she became pregnant.
He is now being detained in pre-trial detention at the San Pedro de Sacaba jail.
Local sources did not name either the victim or the accused offender.