Girl, 10, raped by uncle forced to travel 900 miles for abortion as local hospital refuses

The schoolgirl, from Espírito Santo State in Brazil, was preyed on by her sick relative for four years, but when she tried to get an abortion her local hospital refused and she was targeted by activists

    The young girl was forced to travel 900 miles – only to find the hospital surrounded by anti-abortion activists

    A 10-year-old girl who became pregnant after being repeatedly raped by her uncle was denied an abortion by her local hospital – sparking a devastating legal battle.

    And the young girl, who was abused for four years by her evil relative, was also targeted by anti-abortion campaigners after her identity was illegally shared in Brazil.

    After a court battle allowing the girl to have a termination at another medical centre, religious groups and anti-abortion campaigners surrounded the building in an effort to prevent her getting in.

    Politicians in Brazil's congress also spoke out against the procedure, with critics branding doctors "killers".

    There were clashes outside the hospital in the city of Pernambuco where the girl's abortion was carried out.

    Activists campaigning for abortion rights in Brazil (file image)
    (Image: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

    Women's rights activist Sophia Branco said: "It was a very sad situation, people were completely insane.

    "We were there to prevent them getting access to her, which was the most important thing, that she should be protected.

    "What she had been through was already too difficult."

    Human rights groups have voiced their outrage at the way the youngster was treated.

    Human Rights Watch said the uncle threatened the girl, from Espírito Santo State, to keep quiet.

    Human rights groups have called for reform of abortion laws in Brazil (file image)
    (Image: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

    Brazilian law allows abortions in cases of rape and when it is necessary to save the pregnant person’s life.

    But she was forced to travel 900 miles because the hospital in her state refused to perform the abortion.

    After a judge ruled the abortion could legally be carried out, an anti-abortion activist published the girl’s name and the name of the hospital where she would have the procedure, in violation of Brazilian law.

    Anti-abortion protesters then blocked access to the hospital and harassed and insulted its personnel.

    It meant the young girl – who was reportedly clutching two stuffed toys – had to be hidden in the trunk of a minivan in order to get in.

    In a statement Human Rights Watch said: "Sadly, this girl’s case is far from uncommon in Brazil.

    "Studies estimate that every hour, four Brazilian girls aged up to 13 are raped.

    "In most cases, the perpetrator is a relative. Even though they are entitled to a legal abortion, it can be nearly impossible to access one.

    "Only 76 hospitals, in a country of 210 million people, were performing legal abortions in 2019.

    "In June, that number shrunk to 42 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    "Under international human rights law, denying or delaying abortion access for rape survivors can amount to torture.

    "Brazil has to do better to ensure at least that the restrictive categories of persons allowed legal abortions there can access them, and safely."


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