Judge who denied abortion to 11-year-old girl is promoted

posted on 06/22/2022 06:00

  (credit: Reproduction/AMC)

(credit: Reproduction/AMC)

Judge Joana Ribeiro Zimmer, who prevented an 11-year-old girl from having an abortion after being raped in Santa Catarina, dropped the case. But not because of the repercussion of the episode. She was promoted and transferred from the 1st Civil Court of Tijucas, 50km from Florianópolis — where the process for violence against children is underway —, to Brusque.

The promotion was confirmed by the Special Body of the State Court of Justice (TJ-SC) on the 15th, before the crime gained publicity through a report on the websites Catarinas and The Intercept Brasil, published last Monday. According to the article, the child arrived at the Professor Polydoro Ernani de São Thiago University Hospital, at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), at 22 weeks of gestation. The medical team, however, refused to perform the abortion. The termination of pregnancy of victims of sexual violence is provided for by law.

The judge sent the girl to a shelter, preventing her from undergoing the procedure, as the family wants. The justification was that the measure would serve to protect the child, because there are indications that the abuse took place at home. But, in the decision, the magistrate said that there was a “risk” that the “mother performs some procedure to operate on the death of the baby”.

“If at the beginning of the protective measure the reason for the institutional reception was the presence of suspected men in the house, 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”, Joana wrote.

In the dispatch, she defended the continuity of the pregnancy. And she cited that the abortion must be performed until 22 weeks of pregnancy or if the fetus reaches 500g — regardless of whether the girl’s life is at risk. “Even if the baby is removed in the event of a concrete risk for the pregnant woman, why would the life of the baby be discarded, which is more than 22 weeks old and is no longer a set of cells, a complete human baby?”, he asked. Joana.


The reports brought excerpts from the hearing with the child, when the judge induces the girl to hold the pregnancy. “How long would you accept to keep the baby in your belly for us to finish training him, give him the medicines for his little lung to mature so we can remove it for someone else to take care of?”, she asked.

The girl replies, “I don’t know.” The judge insists: “If your health could support it (the pregnancy), would you be able to stay with the baby a little longer? Another two or three weeks?” The magistrate even asks if the child had chosen the baby’s name.

The National Council of Justice (CNJ) opened an administrative disciplinary procedure to investigate Joana’s conduct. The Internal Affairs Department of the TJ-SC also analyzes whether there was a deviation and the section of the Brazilian Bar Association in Santa Catarina (OAB-SC) announced that it will monitor the process “in order that the victim receives full support”.

Yesterday, the Santa Catarina court authorized the girl to leave the shelter where she had been taken a month ago, after a court decision. According to the state prosecutor’s office, the request for provisional shelter had been made to “put her safe from further abuse”. The agency also says that the removal of the child from the home would be because the investigation “could indicate whether or not the rape occurred in the family environment”.

About Abhishek Pratap

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