The case of the 11-year-old girl raped and barred by a female judge from having a legal abortion in Santa Catarina had wide repercussions in Brazil. The girl was compelled by the magistrate responsible for her case to “bear with it a little longer”. The judge sent her to a minors´ shelter as to hinder her access to the procedure, which has been formally requested by her mother. As soon as the report on the case done by the feminist Portal Catarinas was published by The Intercept, civil society mobilized and, in response, the Federal Prosecutor Office Ministry presented an injunction requesting the termination to be performed. But the case did not close down after the procedure was done. The Federal government requested a judicial investigation of the doctors involved and the Santa Catarina state-level assembly established a parliamentarian commission of inquiry to also threaten the hospital, health professionals, and activists engaged in ensuring the girl´s right.
For those who follow closely abortion politics in Brazil, the case comes as no surprise. Starting with the restrictive and criminal legislation, from the 1940s, which allows the interruption of pregnancy only in exceptional cases, the politics of abortion rights has evidently deteriorated since the mid-2000 and more pronouncedly after 2019 when the ultra-right took over state power. The case presents a number of similarities with a 2020 episode in which another girl from Guriri (ES) was impaired by federal authorities and antiabortion forces to access a legal termination. While in 2020, the local judiciary was key in guaranteeing the right to abortion in the case of rape, in 2022, the main obstacle was the local judiciary itself. Check below a selection of articles in English, Portuguese and Spanish on the case.
O caso: direito garantido, coerção e reação