Abortion is illegal in Brazil, except for specific conditions where the woman’s life is in danger or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
For a 10-year-old young girl from São Mateus, both exceptions applied.
But, far-right Catholic activists still outcried ‘Assassino’ which means killer in Portuguese, outside the hospital as a doctor performed the judicially-authorized procedure, the result of passionate campaigning online.
“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,” one user said in a captioned video, where the religious extremists scream and decry the abortion.
The Pledge Times reported that the young girl was brought to the hospital on August 8, where a blood test confirmed she was three months pregnant. The young girl 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.
The case sparked the #GravidezAos10Mata hashtag or ‘pregnancy at 10 kills,’ and a Change.org petition calling for the abortion to be approved, gathering 656,384 signatures. The campaign was successful.
However, the opposing group had been encouraged by far-right Brazilian politician Sara Winter, who argued that the young girl should carry on with the pregnancy, later undergoing a Cesarean and giving the baby away for adoption.
Winter also reportedly exposed the name of the child and the hospital the abortion was taking place, motivating protesters to flocked the building and ‘put their knees on the floor’ for the baby. A judge has since ordered that her posts be removed from social media.
According to Tilt, Maria Gabriela Agapito, a public defender and coordinator for the Promotion and Defense of Women’s Rights, explained that Winter ‘made 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 extremists, 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. ’
In Brazil, four girls 13 years and younger are raped every hour. Just in April this year, a 10-year-old girl gave birth in a maternity hospital in Rio Branco, and in December 2019, a 13-year-old girl from Coari, raped by her father, died after giving birth.