Weekly report of a young feminist #23: Brazilian 10-year-old girl got pregnant as a result of rape. Every person on this planet would agree with abortion under such circumstances, except for fanatics. Far-right extremists and religious fundamentalists were protesting against the abortion and labelled the doctor as a murderer. Well, they call it murder, I call it survival.
This case carries a global importance. Many representatives in many countries are trying to forbid or at least restrict the abortions, so women are even more dependent on the patriarchal system. It starts with “mild” restrictions such as extension of mandatory waiting period for abortion from 24 to 96 hours and might evolve into establishment of the public opinions stating that life of the foetus is more important than life of a woman. It’s not exaggeration, it’s the ugly reality in some countries.
Brazil is important and major nation on the world’s map. However, Brazilian far-right president Jair Bolsonaro is the black stain covering its whole shape. The country’s abortion law was written in 1940 and sustained its wording almost completely throughout the years. The law only allows legal terminations when the mother’s life is at risk, in rape cases or when the birth defect anencephaly is detected. But the woman/girl still has to receive an official permission for the surgery, so the doctor is also protected when aborting a foetus.
Yet despite the fact that a young girl got pregnant after she was being consistently raped by her 33-year-old uncle for four years, far-right anti-abortion activists and politicians were protesting in front of the hospital where the child’s abortion was planned. Moreover, she had to fly more than 900 miles to get to the hospital where the doctor agreed to do the procedure. Those religious extremists were trying to stop the girl from entering the hospital and were shouting at its staff, calling them “killers”.
“When you see a 10-year-old girl being criminalized for terminating a pregnancy resulting from rape and because her life is in danger, it really gives you a sense of how religious fundamentalism is advancing in our country,”said Elisa Aníbal, a Recife-based feminist campaigner.
The interesting aspect about this case is that people can become so cruel and brainless that they say that a 10-year-old child should keep the child. This kind of extremism is present in hearts of many far-right supporters in any global country. That’s the reason why it’s so important to lobby for a choice.
We tend to excuse the acts limiting women’s freedom. But what is the threshold? When do we stop saying what women can or can’t do with their lives? As we can see on the instance from Brazil, crossing the line is closer to human’s nature than we might expect. I think, that manipulating with people’s free will might get very tricky, so let’s keep it in mind when voting for parties or individuals who don’t respect the democratic principles.