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Brazil: Raped girl, 11, gets abortion after first refusal

Written by Javed Iqbal

BRAZIL, Brazil – Brazilian prosecutors said Thursday that a raped 11-year-old girl had received a legal abortion after a judge blocked her for several weeks from ending her pregnancy.

Federal prosecutors in the state of Santa Catarina said in a statement that Polydoro Ernani de São Thiago Hospital had taken “measures to terminate the minor’s pregnancy” following a formal request made on behalf of the girl’s family.

The hospital said in a statement that it could not comment on the case because it is under the secrecy of Brazil’s judiciary.

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

Some anti-abortion activists claim that the recommendations of the Ministry of Health call for a limit of 20 to 22 weeks for the procedure. But Daniela Félix, a lawyer for the child’s family, and other legal experts said Brazilian law does not mention a limit in the case 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 conducted Wednesday night, amid outrage against Judge Joana Ribeiro Zimmer for her actions in the case.

Earlier this week, Brazil’s legal watchdog agency said it would investigate Zimmer to ask the child at a filmed hearing on May 9 if she understood how pregnancies happen, and suggested the girl “endure a little more” to save the fetus. .

The girl repeatedly said 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 where a fetus has no functioning brain.

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

Bolsonaro, who is in an attempt at re-election against da Silva, tweeted after the news of the girl’s abortion: “A baby in seven months of pregnancy.”

“We are not discussing the way it was conceived, whether the law allows it or not. It is impermissible to take the life of this defenseless being! “He wrote.

When Silva said in April that everyone should be allowed to have an abortion, but within a few days he withdrew and said he is against abortions, even though he believes women should have the choice as a public issue. health.

The case, reported by The Intercept Brasil website last week, prompted associations of judges and human rights groups to request that Zimmer be removed from her post.

Zimmer said in a statement Wednesday that she “will not talk about parts of the hearing that were illegally leaked.” She also said she would remain silent on the matter “to ensure the proper and full protection of the child.”

The investigation into Zimmer’s methods will be carried out by the same Santa Catarina judicial system in southern Brazil, and its decision will be referred to her own court in the southern Brazilian state, and then taken to the national watchdog to make its final decision. . ———

Savarese reported from Sao Paulo.

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Javed Iqbal

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