A judge has banned an 11-year-old girl who fell pregnant after she was raped from having an abortion in Brazil.
The girl has been blocked from having her pregnancy terminated despite the fact carrying a pregnancy at such a young is dangerous for her health.
Southern Brazil’s Santa Catarina justice system has placed the girl in a shelter for more than a month to block her from having an abortion despite the fact abortion in instances of rape is legal in Brazil, according to The Intercept.
In Brazil, pregnancy terminations are criminalised unless the procedure is performed to save the woman’s life or if she fell pregnant after rape or incest. Human Rights Watch states the majority of abortions in Brazil are carried out in dangerous medical conditions in illegal clinics or other backstreet clandestine places.
Rape survivors in Brazil must go through a hearing if they request an abortion but the girl’s request is reported to have been rebuffed.
The young girl’s request for an abortion got to Judge Joana Ribeiro Zimmer who told the court if the mother was keen to safeguard her daughter, who was raped earlier this year, she would not “submit her to homicide”, reports The Intercept.
It comes after doctors reportedly refused to give the girl an abortion after she went to the hospital alongside her mother while she was 22 weeks pregnant. The case then got to Judge Zimmer who is now being investigated.
In a statement, the court said they “initiated a request for measures in the administrative sphere for the proper investigation of the facts.”
While abortion is heavily criminalised in great swathes of Latin America, Colombia became the latest country in Latin America to decriminalise abortion in February, in a move campaigners hailed as a “historic victory” for millions of women who have long faced fiercely restrictive abortion policies.
Argentina became the first major Latin American country to legalise abortion at the end of December 2020, while Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled in September last year that criminal penalties for having a pregnancy terminated were unconstitutional.