ABout Joana Ribeiro Zimmer
The Justice of Santa Catarina investigates the performance of judge Joana Ribeiro Zimmer, who prevented an 11-year-old child, pregnant and rape victim, from having an abortion.
The case was revealed in a report published by journalists Paula Guimarães, Bruna de Lara and Tatiana Dias, from Portal Catarinas and Intercept Brasil.
A girl, then 10 years old, was taken to a hospital in Florianópolis for an abortion. However, the pregnancy already exceeded the limit of weeks allowed by the hospital’s rules, which brought the matter to court.
The case reached the magistrate Joana Ribeiro Zimmer, who authorized the girl to go to a shelter, using as a justification in one of the orders the “risk” of the mother performing “some procedure to operate the baby’s death”.
Also, during a hearing in May, the judge asked, “Would you like to stay a little longer?”
“We have 30,000 couples who want the baby, who accept the baby. This sadness today for you and for your daughter is the happiness of a couple”, the judge also said at the hearing.
In other moments of the hearing, Joana Ribeiro also asked the child if she would like to “choose the baby’s name” and if she thought “that the baby’s father would agree with the delivery for adoption”.
CNN contacted the family’s lawyer, Daniela Felix, who confirmed the information in the report .
In a note released by the Court of Justice of Santa Catarina (TJSC) , the Corregedoria-Geral da Justiça, an organ of the TJSC, states that “it has initiated a request for measures in the administrative sphere for the proper investigation of the facts”.
The TJSC also said that the process takes place in judicial secrecy, and “the Court cannot express its opinion, except through its own judging bodies, in the case records”.
The Public Ministry of Santa Catarina (MPSC) , in a clarification note, stated that as soon as the Guardianship Council learned of the situation, “immediately” the child was referred to the University Hospital Professor Polydoro Ernani de São Thiago, linked to UFSC, “to carrying out the abortion”.
“The hospital’s medical team, however, after evaluating the situation, concluded that the legal abortion procedure was unfeasible, due to the already advanced pregnancy, which at that time was already over 22 weeks”, said the MPSC.
The MPSC adds that, having become aware of this situation, “and in view of the undeniable need to protect the physical and emotional health of the victim”, a lawsuit was filed in court asking for authorization for the interruption of assisted pregnancy, according to criteria defined by the team. responsible physician”.
Although judge Joana Ribeiro cited the “risk of the baby’s death” in an order about the child’s going to a shelter, the Public Prosecutor’s Office states that the request for provisional shelter was made “with the sole objective” of placing the child in a shelter. safe from possible further abuse.
“The MPSC continues to monitor the case, with the necessary responsibility for the protection of the victim”, added the institution.
The University Hospital (HU) of the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) also spoke about the case. In a note, the HU stated that it is a reference for legal termination of pregnancy.
“When the gestational age limit established by the protocol to conduct the procedure is exceeded, we advise the family to appeal in court to ensure this right”, explains the note.
The hospital stated that it depends on this authorization from the Court when the pregnancy exceeds 20 weeks. The girl arrived at the hospital at 22 weeks and 2 days of gestation.
The hospital stated that these requests “normally” are granted quickly, due to the complexity and urgency of the situation.
“However, there are specific situations, where the conduct of the judiciary does not correspond to the expectation of the HU care team in meeting health demands in their entirety”, said the Hospital.
The HU also accused the MPSC of not basing its request on the opinion of the Hospital’s specialized team.
“Under all circumstances, the HU sought to guarantee health care and human rights to children, offering health care, and evaluating the multidisciplinary team in relation to the best conduct for the situation”, completes the note.
CNN tried to contact Judge Joana Ribeiro through the TJSC, but the judge chose not to comment.
OAB will monitor the process
In a statement, the Santa Catarina OAB stated that, through the Child and Adolescent Law Commission, it is seeking the necessary information to protect and guarantee “full protection to the life of the pregnant girl”.
“Having knowledge of the facts, from now on the OAB/SC will be attentive and monitor the entire process and its developments, with the aim of ensuring that the victim receives full support, including the return to family life and all the necessary health care, including psychological support for her and her family members”, concludes the note signed by the president of the Commission, Edelvan Jesus da Conceição.