The child, from Sao Mateus, Brazil became pregnant after she was allegedly raped by her uncle and had to be smuggled into the hospital for the procedure
A media throng at the hospital as the groups rally (Image: Newsflash)
Military police had to protect a ten-year-old girl from angry religious protesters trying to block her from having an abortion at a hospital in Brazil.
The girl's private information and whereabouts was reportedly leaked by online after she sought an abortion in the eastern state of Espirito Santo.
The child, from Sao Mateus, was allegedly raped by her uncle.
According to national newspaper G1, the girl was discovered to be pregnant after she presented at hospital complaining of abdominal pains.
She told medics her uncle had been raping her since the age of six and she had never reported him because he allegedly threatened her, according to G1.
Her uncle, an unnamed 33-year-old man, had been arrested and indicted for rape but is on the run, according to Brazilian media reports.
The girl was forced to travel to a hospital more than 900 miles from her home after her own local facility refused to treat her, amid a highly-politicised legal battle that has caused widespread outrage in Brazil.
Pro-life and pro-choice activists converged on the hospital on Sunday
Far-right religious protesters converged on the hospital as the girl was due for the termination on Sunday.
They were filmed hurling abuse at hospital staff and the taxi the child was hidden as they tried to enter.
Some protesters even reportedly attempted to break into the hospital in Pernambuco to try to prevent the procedure from going ahead.
According to G1, the protesters were drawn to the hospital after the right-wing anti-abortion activist Sara Giromini posted the name of the girl and the location of the hospital in a social media video.
According to The Guardian, the since-deleted video shows Giromini falsely claims the girl was kidnapped and flown in for the termination on a private jet, and holds a plastic doll she claims is the size of the foetus as she says: “This is an extremely serious human rights violation!”
Giromini worked for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s minister for women, family and human rights, the conservative evangelical pastor Damares Alves.
Protesters and pro-choice activists converged on the hospital
She is a leader of the "Os 300 do Brasil" movement, an extreme right-wing armed group which supports Bolsonaro, the BBC reports.
Pro-choice activists flocked to the hospital on Sunday to defend the girl and ensure her safe passage amid the noisy protests.
Paula Viana, who escorted the child from Recife’s airport to the hospital, told the Guardian she stopped the taxi on the way from the airport, hid the little girl in its boot, and smuggled her into the hospital through a side entrance as protesters demonstrated outside.
“It’s just unbelievable this is happening in Brazil, that part of the population really believes abortion is worse than rape,” said Ms Viana, who works with women’s rights group Curumim.
The girl was forced to travel more than 900 miles to the hospital in Pernambuco
“But we weren’t surprised because we know we have a president who is supportive of these shows of hatred.”
The protesters reportedly tried to prevent the hospital director from entering the building and tried to break inside, until Military Police were called in to guard the unit.
Ms Viana added that the young girl was desperate to get back to playing football. “She is very strong – but she is just a child … She will need long-term psychological support. She understands everything that she is going through.”
In a note, Facebook said that "the video in question has been removed for violating our policies by promoting potential harm to people in the offline world in a coordinated manner."
According to hospital management, the girl is recuperating well after undergoing the procedure.
The Pernambuco Department of Health stated that the procedure was done with judicial authorisation and that "all legal parameters are being strictly followed".
The Sao Mateus Children's and Youth Prosecutor's Office is investigating whether religious groups tried to pressure the girl's family to not go through with the abortion, as the authorities analyse audio clips sent to them.