Brazilian Ex-Feminist Fights Abortion Through Hunger Strike
Attached and surrounded by posters, the activist wants to put pressure on deputies to create a commission against the decision of the Top Federal Court to legitimize abortion until the third month of gestation
Text: Ananda Ribeiro/GNI
Sara Giromini, known as Sara Winter (ex-feminist), started a public fast for an indeterminate length of time last Wednesday the 30th, at 5pm. The protest is an act against abortion and against the doors that are opening toward possible decriminalization of this practice in Brazil. The fast started because of a decision of the TOP FEDERAL COURT – which will continue to be judge by the justice of Rio – to revoke the prison sentence of the those who were involved in abortion.
Sara was a leader in the feminist movement “FEMEN” in Brazil, and afterwards, in the movement “Bastardxs.” The activist became known for radical protests, where, naked, fought for women’s and minorities’ rights. For some years, she raised the flag of the abortion, and she practiced the act herself over the course of two years. This personal experience started to change the mind of the activist, who then repented for what she had done. Shortly after, she gave birth to a boy, became Christian and started to fight for life.
On November 29th, three ministers of the TOP COURT – Luís Roberto Barroso, Rosa Weber and Edson Fachin – voted for the revocation of pretrial detention of five people involved in a case of abortion, done in a clandestine clinic, in Duque de Caxias – RJ. The decision was about the habeas corpus of a specific case, however, it can be used as a basis for future judicial decisions, setting a precedent to decriminalize the act.
The case created controversy on the Internet. There are those who believe the legalization of abortion will benefit women at risk of dying because of the need to abort clandestinely, particularly those who cannot afford the procedure in a private clinic. Some question when the baby’s life begins, believing that if there is no cerebral activity, there is no life, therefore, abortion should not be criminalized. There are also those who defend women’s freedom to decide about her body, and even after conceiving, to decide if they should or should not have the baby – because that would fit in their rights to choose for themselves.
On the other hand, there are those who affirm that the best protection against the risks of abortion is to not abort, and that legalization encourages the act. Some believe that life begins at the moment of conception, therefore, abortion at any stage of pregnancy should be considered a crime. Questions were raised on the internet about the fact that an atom on Mars is considered life, but not a fetus. There are also those who affirm that a woman’s right to choose is in the use of contraceptives and non-abortive methods, knowing that there are several ways to prevent pregnancy, and those that encourage the referral of “unwanted babies” for adoption, since the number of families wishing to adopt newborns is large. Many people in social networks offered themselves to adopt these babies.
Information about the hunger strike
Sara is in a statue in Largo da Carioca, in Rio de Janeiro/RJ, Brazil, and has published constant updates on her state and her struggle. The first message about fasting said: “ATTENTION FRIENDS FROM THE RIGHT IN RIO DE JANEIRO! The STF has just legitimized abortion up to 12 weeks of gestation. I cannot stand doing nothing. Before that, today, at ALERJ, at 5 pm, I start a hunger strike for an undefined period. I ask your help, so if you have a chance come over to say Hi and update me the news, etc. I ask you to respect my protest, do not persuade me to eat or drink water, and publish this action on all your social media. If the STF has the courage to kill innocent babies, then it has the courage to kill an adult. Does it really have? Let’s see then. Note: My son is very well taken care of, do not worry about it “.
In one of her last statements, made around 7am this Thursday, Sara posted a photo with a friend of the fight and declared: “We only leave when the committee of deputies is created, with names and directives against the TOP COURT arbitration decision in legitimating abortion until 3 months of gestation”.