Brazil’s Joana Ribeiro Zimmer, in an odd decision, prohibited a young girl who had been raped earlier this year from receiving an abortion when it was discovered she was pregnant as a result of the rape.
The judge is being investigated by the Brazilian Court of Justice as a result of the court’s ruling, which caused significant indignation.
Unidentified 11-year-old girl was admitted to hospital in Santa Catarina state, Brazil, last month after mother learned of pregnancy, according to the Intercept. Apart from the fact that the rape allegedly took place in the family home, little else is known about it. Dr. Polydoro Ernani de Sao Thiago, a member of the University of Santa Catarina, examined the girl while she was accompanied by her mother.
Since the hospital’s internal policies only allowed abortions up to 20 weeks and required a court order, the doctor allegedly declined to perform one after establishing that woman was more than 22 weeks pregnant. The Penal Code permits abortion in cases of sexual assault without placing any restrictions on the number of weeks of pregnancy or requiring judicial approval. Doctors continued to decline to conduct the abortion, nevertheless.
The judge was tasked with hearing the case, and he reportedly declined to allow the 11-year-old rape victim to undergo the abortion. According to reports, she said that by allowing the girl’s abortion, she would not have been “protecting the daughter” but rather “subjecting her to a homicide.” The girl is already in the 29th week of pregnancy as of the date this news is published. An average pregnancy lasts 40 weeks.
11-year-old girl cannot obtain an abortion, according to judge Joana Ribeiro Zimmer’s decision. (Screenshot from a video/Programa SC no Ar)
In a June 1 issuing order, Ribeiro claimed that while traveling to the shelter was originally mandated to protect the child from the perpetrator, there was now a second justification. In actuality, there is now a chance that the mother will perform an operation that results in the baby’s death. In order to protect the youngster from future violence, prosecutors later claimed that they had asked to have her placed in a shelter. The report did not name the perpetrator of the girl’s rape.
The judge also advised placing the child for adoption during the hearing, informing the girl that “30,000 couples desired the baby.” In addition, she enquired as to the girl’s desire to “select the baby’s name” and whether the perpetrator of the rape would consent to placing the child up for adoption. Judge Ribeiro Zimmer is supposedly being investigated by the Court of Justice of Santa Catarina for preventing the 11-year-old from getting a legal abortion, according to a statement made later by the office responsible for internal affairs. They had “started a request for steps in the administrative domain for the correct investigation of the facts,” the court claimed in a statement.
“Because Brazilian legislation only permits abortion in cases of rape, fetal anencephaly, or risk to life, the country’s Ministry of Health reported only 1,626 legal abortions in 2012 in a country of 203 million people,” the IPAS organization, which promotes abortion and contraception globally, notes.
“However, a million Brazilian women are thought to undergo abortions annually. When they choose to stop an undesired pregnancy, many of these women, especially those who lack the financial or social resources to consult a qualified, willing provider, take a major legal risk.” “The bodily repercussions can be terrible as well.”