Judge Tells 10YO Rape Survivor Seeking Abortion To "Stay Pregnant"

Judge Tells 10YO Rape Survivor Seeking Abortion To "Stay Pregnant"

The child made it clear that she did not want to deliver her rapist's baby.

A 10-year-old rape survivor in Brazil realized she was pregnant after 22 weeks and sought an abortion when a judge told her to "stay pregnant." The child approached a court in southern Brazil to get an abortion authorized when Brazilian Judge Joana Ribeiro Zimmer asked if the girl could be pregnant  “a little while longer?”  and if she wanted to “want to name the baby?” According to the Washington Post, the prosecutor asked if the girl would consider adoption “instead of letting him die — because it is already a baby, a child — instead of letting him die in agony?” The case has sparked outrage in the country as abortion in cases of rape is legal. The Brazilian judge ordered that the child be removed from her family so the fetus can be protected.



Over 17,000 children who are just between 10 and 14 years old in Brazil become pregnant each year in Brazil, based on government data.  “What we see in Brazil and in other countries in Latin America where abortion is criminalized, on top of the law, there are barriers created that make it harder to access care,” said Debora Diniz, an anthropologist at the University of Brasilia who studies abortion rights. “And the most vulnerable people, the most fragile, are the most impacted.” 



According to Intercept Brasil, the child's mother took her to the hospital, two days after realizing she was pregnant. The hospital refused to operate because it was past 20 weeks. They said that they had a policy of only conducting abortions up until 20 weeks. However, there is no time limit on when a rape victim can get an abortion in the country. The case was then taken to court where the judge and a prosecutor tried to pressure the girl into completing her pregnancy. On May 9 the judge and the prosecutor's proposal asked that the child maintain the pregnancy for another “one or two weeks”, to increase the chance of survival of the fetus. Ribeiro Zimmer also spoke to the rape victim’s mother. “In terms of the little baby, do you understand that if we interrupt the pregnancy, the baby is born and we have to wait for the baby to die?” she said, falsely. “Can you understand that? That it is immense cruelty? That the baby will be born and cry until he dies?” Throughout the hearing, the little girl made it crystal clear and repeated several times that she did not want to continue the pregnancy and deliver her rapist's baby. The Washington Post reported that the girl eventually had an abortion on June 23.  More than 300,000 people have signed a petition to have Zimmer removed from the bench, reports Insider.


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