The case of the girl from Espírito Santo: Is this a new turning point in the long journey for abortion rights in Brazil?

11 Sep 2020
by Sonia Corrêa

Since 1940, Brazilian law has permitted abortion in cases of rape,  and sexual intercourse with persons under 14 years old is automatically  defined as rape. In 1999, the Brazilian Ministry of Health’s issued the Technical Protocol orienting Care for Victims of Sexual Violence (MoH Protocol),  considered by WHO as a main  global reference for sexual and reproductive health policies. Though revised in 2005 and 2012, its content has not been substantially altered.

On August
8th, 2020, the Brazilian press reported the case of a 10-year-old girl who
became pregnant after being raped by her uncle, who lived with her, and her
grandmother in the municipality of São Mateus, state of Espírito Santo
(neighboring Rio de Janeiro). After suffering from abdominal pains,  the
girl was taken to a local hospital. She told the medical team that she had been
abused since she was 6 years old.


Women Have Paid the Price for Trump’s Regulatory Agenda

By Osub Ahmed, Shilpa Phadke, and Diana Boesch 
September 10, 2020

From the first day of Donald Trump’s presidency, his administration has used every tool in its arsenal to chip away at women’s health, employment, economic security, and rights overall. One of the administration’s most effective, and at times less noticed, tools to crafting this harmful agenda against women has been to use the standard agency rule-making process as a political weapon.1 Frequently ignoring relevant data and research, the Trump administration has used the rule-making process to issue guidance, interpret public policy, and implement statutes in ways that are fundamentally harmful to women, often pushing beyond the limits of its legal authority while consistently underestimating the financial costs and dismissing the human impact of its rules.2


India – We Need To Talk About Unsafe Sex And Our Dilemmas Around Using Contraception

By Pragya Roy
September 2, 2020

As much as our country fears conversations around the word and the act of sex, especially outside the institution of marriage and/or for pleasure, the liberal and feminist circles which do widely dicusss sex, sexuality and the common anxieties around them, often tend to overlook one of the most prominent and anxiety-inducing notions—‘unsafe’ sex. In 2013, it was revealed that unsafe sex was the “second riskiest behaviour for boys and the greatest single risk to the health of girls,” in the worldwide risk table.

Although this particular study projected its findings solely on adolescents, unsafe and unprotected sex impacts other age groups too. Institutions of marriage, education and family, entwine with each other whereby factors like child marriage, lack of sex and sexuality education in schools and misogynistic structures engender diverse sexual and sexually violent episodes, especially for women and marginalised groups.


Abortion for 10-year-old rape victim sparks near-riot in Brazil

A near-riot in front of a hospital in the northeastern town of Recife in mid-August sent shock waves across Brazil. Inside, a 10-year-old rape victim was having an abortion.


Conservative religious groups and right-wing politicians connected to the more radical evangelical churches gathered in front of the hospital and attempted to break in to stop the abortion.

The case of Menina (Portuguese for "girl") as she became known because her identity cannot be disclosed, came to light after the Minister for Women, Family and Human Rights, Damares Alves, herself a pastor of a Pentecostal church, sent representatives to meet with the girl's family trying to convince her to keep the baby.


Brazil: outcry as religious extremists harass child seeking abortion

Ten-year-old girl was forced to fly more than 900 miles to north-eastern city of Recife for the procedure after being raped

Tom Phillips and Caio Barretto Briso in Rio de Janeiro
Mon 17 Aug 2020

Scores of Brazilian women have taken to the streets to protect a 10-year-old child who was being persecuted by religious extremists for trying to legally undergo an abortion after being raped, allegedly by her uncle.

The girl, from São Mateus, a small town in the south-eastern state of Espírito Santo, was admitted to hospital on 7 August complaining of abdominal pain and doctors confirmed she was pregnant.


Nigeria – Rape cases: Using reproductive health advocacy to stem the tide

By Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja
09 August 2020 

In the wake of incessant cases of rape across the country, experts in reproductive health and rights have urged Nigerian media to embark on enlightenment campaign that will address high death rates arising from unsafe abortions.

The call was made recently at a three-day media capacity building workshop on women’s reproductive health and rights.


India – Jammu & Kashmir High Court Allows Abortion Of Rape Victim

India, thus, has been dubbed "the most dangerous country for women" by many human rights activists. But why is India so prone to gender-based crimes?

By: Asif Qureshi
08 Aug 2020

In a first, Jammu and Kashmir High Court has permitted a rape victim from Doda district to terminate her pregnancy. A 17-year-old girl (name withheld), who was 26 weeks pregnant, needed the court's assent since law allows termination after 20 weeks only if the mother's life is in danger. The abortion of the girl took place at Shri Maharaja Gulab Singh hospital Jammu on July 11.

The girl alleges she was kidnapped and raped by a man, Ashok Kumar on December 12 last year. He is under arrest. The decision to allow her to abort was taken by Justice Javaid Iqbal Wani after a panel of doctors submitted her medical report.


There could be 7 million unplanned pregnancies because of COVID-19

Angela Betsaida B. Laguipo
Aug 2 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has rippled across the globe, infecting nearly 18 million individuals worldwide to date. Though the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) affects people from all walks of life, women and girls may experience devastating effects of the outbreak.

A new report published in the journal The Lancet reveals the adverse effects of the coronavirus disease, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and highlights the impacts of COVID-19 on women's health.


Women in North Korea’s Detention Centers Face Sexual Abuse: UN Report

by Anya Ruppert 
July 28, 2020

A report released by the UN Tuesday revealed North Korean women undergo forced labor, sexual violence, and forced abortion and infanticide in the country’s detention centers.

The report acknowledges that “over seventy years since its establishment, [North Korea] remains a closed society and leaving the country without official permission is a crime under domestic law.” However, women who manage to escape and then forcibly return or fail to flee, face extraneous inhumane punishments.