Religious Extremists Call Doctor Performing Abortion On 10-Year-Old Rape Victim ‘Murderer’
Religious extremists branded a doctor who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim in Brazil a ‘murderer’.
Abortion is illegal in the country, barring specific instances where the woman’s life is in danger or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. For one young girl from São Mateus, both exceptions applied.
However, far-right Catholic activists still cried out ‘Assassino’ – Portuguese for ‘killer’ – outside the hospital as a doctor performed the judicially-authorised procedure, the result of passionate campaigning online.
In horrific footage, protesters scream and decry the abortion, with one user captioning a video, ‘There is a group of religious people in front of the hospital where the 10-year-old girl is having an abortion due to the rape she suffered, I repeat RAPE, calling the doctor a murderer.’
As reported by the Pledge Times, the young girl was brought to hospital on August 8, where a blood test confirmed she was three months along in her pregnancy. She had reportedly been raped by her uncle from the age of six – he has since been indicted for the crime, but has yet to be caught by police.
Her case sparked the #GravidezAos10Mata hashtag – translating to ‘pregnancy at 10 kills’ – and a Change.org petition calling for the abortion to be approved, racking up 656,384 signatures. It was successful.
However, the opposing group had been spurred on by far-right Brazilian politician Sara Winter, who argued that the unnamed girl should persist through the pregnancy, later undergoing a Cesarean and giving the baby away for adoption.
She also reportedly exposed the name of the child and the hospital the abortion was taking place in, encouraging protesters to swarm the building and ‘put their knees on the floor’ for the baby. A judge has since ordered that Winter’s posts be removed from social media.
As per Tilt, Maria Gabriela Agapito, public defender and coordinator for the Promotion and Defense of Women’s Rights, explained that Winter ‘made an exposure to the child’s identity, exposing her physical and psychological integrity, mainly because the location of the hospital in Recife was indicated, generating an entire situation’.
Even after the doctor tried to reason with the crowds, they reportedly tried to break into the hospital before police interfered. Later, mothers and members part of the National Front for the Legalization of Abortion gathered in front of the building to show their support. Actor Silvero Pereira shared a clip, writing, ‘I cried seeing that act.’
Every hour in Brazil, four girls 13 years and younger are raped. Just in April this year, a 10-year-old girl gave birth in maternity hospital in Rio Branco, and in December 2019, a 13-year-old girl from Coari, raped by her father, died after giving birth.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas.
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