. She coordinated the transfer of the child to CISAM. For her, this case is symbolic and illustrates the complexity of access to abortion in Brazil:
A manifestation of this type, I had never seen. It is precisely a peculiarity of the moment we live, this expression of hatred. We had already followed a similar case, in 2009: that of a 9-year-old girl, in the state of Pernambuco, abused by her stepfather and became pregnant with twins. His story had received a lot of media coverage and caused a stir in the press and within the Church. Religious representatives and anti-abortion activists have been active in Brazil for several years, but their modus operandi has so far not enjoyed the approval of representatives of the legislature. In the case of 2009, there was no such public expression of hatred.
“These groups make a lot of noise, but I think the casting vote is in favor of the rights of this little girl”
We learned about this little girl’s case when she was still in Victoria. The hospital was delaying her abortion by seeking a court order, which was unnecessary. However, delaying her treatment entailed risks for her health and could complicate her abortion. We therefore activated our networks to offer the family to move to another state. The director of CISAM agreed to welcome him. But her identity and the location where she was going to have an abortion have been made public on social media. I received an audio on WhatsApp from an evangelical figure saying they were going to kill a child and had to go to the hospital to prevent that. It is absurd and it is cruel.
“Abortion should no longer be considered a crime in Brazil”
In Brazil, abortion is written into the penal code where it is considered a crime. However, it is permissible to perform an abortion in cases of rape, risk of death for the mother and [depuis une décision de la Cour suprême rendue en 2012, NDLR] in the presence of fetal anencephaly. It is one of the great struggles of feminist movements in Brazil: that abortion is not considered a crime – as long as it is not performed against the will of the woman.
Some women do not even have access to this information about abortion. Within Grupo Curumim, we receive many messages from victims of sexual violence who do not know where to go, or victims of sexual violence who have become pregnant and who, sometimes, do not know that they have the right to terminate the pregnancy. There is a lot of misinformation on these topics.
“In 2018, 21,000 minors had children in Brazil. Any pregnancy in girls under 14 is the result of rape of a vulnerable person.” Data relayed by Grupo Curumim, source DATASUS (data platform on the health system in Brazil).
The public prosecutor of Espirito Santo also sued against far-right activist Sara Giromini, a former member of Femen, known as Sara winter, for having disclosed the identity of the 10-year-old child. Her chain Youtube has been deleted.
The Church for its part condemned those who perform legal abortions. The president of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB), Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo, called “heinous crime” the abortion performed on the 10-year-old girl and regretted that the “representatives of the Law of the State, whose mission is to defend the life, decided on the death of a child”.
For Paula Viana, this story should not be seen as an isolated case. “Thousands of girls and women pass through there,” she explains. According to data from the Brazilian public health system, the SUS, in 2019 there were almost six hospitalizations for abortion concerning children aged 10 to 14.
Article written by Maëva Chicken.