Two judges fined after calling rape case abortion doctors ‘hit men’

Javier Anzoátegui and Luis María Rizzi will be fined half a month’s wages in a case involving a legal abortion performed on a 13-year-old rape survivor.  

The Council of Magistrates decided on Wednesday to fine two judges who wrote in a ruling that doctors who performed an abortion on a 13-year-old rape survivor were “hit men” and “murderers for hire.”

Judges Javier Anzoátegui and Luis María Rizzi, members of the 8th Criminal and Correctional Court in Buenos Aires City, were sanctioned for their ruling in a September 2020 murder case, which involved a 30-year-old defendant who had also repeatedly raped his step-sister. 

The judges referred to the doctors who performed the abortion on the girl as “hit men” and “murderers for hire”. They also described the termination as “a mob-like torture method” and abortion protocol documents as a “manual for inhuman savagery.” 

Referring to the legal abortion, Anzoátegui added that an investigation should be opened into the doctors and officials involved, to determine whether there had been a “prenatal homicide.” 

Both the country’s General Defense Attorney Stella Maris Martínez and the Tucumán-based MujeresxMujeres Foundation asked the Council to punish the judges and remove them from their functions.

According to Martínez, the judges’ decision was “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” that re-victimized and discriminated against the girl. 

The judges’ decision, according to Martínez’s report, “violated the principles of legality, impartiality, and freedom of thought and worship, as well as the right to individual autonomy.” 

The Council’s decision to sanction Anzoátegui and Rizzi was based on the fact that their actions “offend the decorum of the judiciary’s role, and respect for democratic institutions and human rights.” 

Senator and council member Eduardo Vischi of the Unión Cívica Radical party said the discounted pay would be awarded to the victim as a form of reparation. 

“They disgrace the judiciary profession,” said council member Héctor Recalde.

Both judges were also ordered to abide by the “Micaela Law” — named after 21-year-old Micaela García, a femicide victim — which requires that all Argentine public officials, including in the judiciary, receive training on gender perspectives and gender-based violence. 

“Gender perspective is not a suggestion, it’s a constitutional and conventional obligation,” said MujeresxMujeres attorney Soledad Deza.

“And them paying a fine with a portion of their juicy paycheck sends a strong message.”

*With information by Télam


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