MP files lawsuit to authorize abortion of pregnant girl after rape in SC

posted on 06/20/2022 22:44 / updated on 06/20/2022 23:02

Demonstration on the decriminalization of abortion in front of the Federal Superior Court (STF), in Praça dos Três Poderes.  - (credit: Carlos Vieira/CB/DA Press)

Demonstration on the decriminalization of abortion in front of the Federal Superior Court (STF), in Praça dos Três Poderes. – (credit: Carlos Vieira/CB/DA Press)

An 11-year-old girl was being held by the justice in a shelter, away from her family, for more than a month to avoid having a legal abortion. The case, reported by The Intercept This Monday (20/6), it showed the questionable posture of judge Joana Ribeiro Zimmer and prosecutor Mirela Dutra Alberton, who during the hearing induced the girl, who was a victim of rape, not to have an abortion, guaranteed by law. .

In a note sent to Mail, The Public Ministry of Santa Catarina indicated that as soon as it became aware of the situation, the 2nd Public Prosecutor’s Office of the District of Tijucas filed a lawsuit “seeking judicial authorization for the interruption of assisted pregnancy, according to criteria defined by the responsible medical team.”

Regarding the decision to keep the girl in a shelter, the MP from SC said that he analyzed the prosecutor’s decision, but that the request was not made because of the pregnancy, but “with the sole objective of putting her safe from possible harm.” new abuses, especially while the criminal investigation that could indicate whether the rape took place or not in the family environment is not finalized”.

In the note, the MPSC said it was also following the case in order to protect the victim. “Finally, we remind you that the process remains protected by secrecy provided for by law. Secrecy, moreover, which aims solely to protect the image and integrity of a child victim of sexual crimes, unduly exposed to public opinion”.

“Would you like to stay a little longer?”

According to a report published by The Interceptthe 11-year-old girl was being kept by the Justice of Santa Catarina in a shelter, away from her family, for more than a month, to prevent a legal abortion from being performed.

According to the report, two days after the discovery of the pregnancy, in May of this year, the child – at the time 10 years old – was taken by the mother to the University Hospital Professor Polydoro Ernani de São Thiago for an abortion. But the medical team refused to perform the procedure, arguing that, by hospital rules, termination of pregnancy is only allowed until 20 weeks of gestation. According to the report by The Interceptthe girl discovered her pregnancy when she was 22 weeks old.

O Mail consulted the jurist and doctor in Law, State and Constitution Soraia Mendes, a specialist in women’s rights, who informed that the understanding is that, under the terms of the Convention of Belém do Pará, all pregnancies of girls under 14 must be considered the product of sexual violence. “States – like Brazil – must guarantee these victims specialized care and access to the termination of pregnancy in safe conditions and free from any form of discrimination”, she explains.

Furthermore, according to the Penal Code, abortion is permitted in the event of sexual violence, without imposing any limitation on weeks of pregnancy and without requiring judicial authorization.

After the procedure was vetoed by the hospital, mother and daughter filed the request in court. However, instead of granting the authorization, Judge Joana Ribeiro Zimmer induced the child to maintain the pregnancy. In addition, at the request of prosecutor Mirela Dutra Alberton, from the Santa Catarina Public Ministry, the girl was removed from the family and taken to a shelter.

At first, the decision was intended to protect the child from the aggressor, but when it was dispatched on June 1, the judge admitted that the measure was also intended to prevent abortion of the fetus. “The fact is that, from now on, the risk is that the mother will carry out some procedure to operate on the death of the baby,” she wrote in the document.

In a court hearing, held on May 9, the judge proposed that the child keep the pregnancy for a few more weeks. “Would you bear to stay a little longer?”, the magistrate asked the child.

The prosecutor in the case also proposed to the girl that she keep the pregnancy to give the fetus some chance to “survive”. “Instead of letting him die – because he’s already a baby, he’s already a child -, instead of us taking it out of your belly and seeing him dying and dying, that’s what happens, because Brazil doesn’t agree with euthanasia, Brazil doesn’t have it, it won’t give him medicine… He’ll be born crying, no [inaudível] medicine for him to die”, exposed the video released by The Intercept.

Soraia Mendes recalls that it is not the first time that a case of this type has occurred in Brazil. She recalls the case of 2020, when a 10-year-old child, raped by her uncle, ended up becoming the target of persecution for trying to perform a legal abortion. Even the Minister of Women at the time, Damares Alves, got involved in the case, taking a stand against the procedure, which is guaranteed by law.

Regarding the case of the girl from Santa Catarina, she adds that it took even more serious contours with the revelation that “the child was being kept by order of the Santa Catarina justice in a shelter for more than a month to prevent her from having access to the legal abortion”. “The conduct of the magistrate and the prosecutor is not only unacceptable and/or subject only to some reprimand to be applied by the CNJ. Judging by the information contained in the report, what happened was not only perverse in rhetorical terms. It was torture . Submitting a child, in a hearing, to a “conviction” session in which the blame for the “death” of the alleged “baby” was imposed (say, the result of the crime of rape of which she was a victim) constitute acts that need to be criminally investigated”, says the lawyer specializing in women’s rights.

The expert adds that the actions of judge Joana Ribeiro Zimmer and prosecutor Mirela Dutra Alberton exceeded “the limit of inappropriate judicial action, because by imposing (more) pain and suffering on the already violated girl, they disregarded that child maternity is incompatible with the principle of full protection advocated in the CF/88, in the ECA and in the international legislation protecting children’s rights. Above all, they committed the crime of torture”, he says.

*Intern under the supervision of Pedro Grigori

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