When Abortion Is Illegal, Women Rarely Die. But They Still Suffer.
A look at what happens when abortion is forbidden, from countries where it still is
Oct 11, 2018
In August, the Argentine Senate rejected a bill that would have decriminalized abortion in the country within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Less than a week later, the newspaper Clairín reported that a 34-year-old woman died from septic shock after attempting to terminate her own pregnancy using parsley.
The woman, referred to only as Elizabeth, became one of the 40-some Argentine women who die each year from unsafe abortions. “Illegality forces the poorest women to use the most desperate practices,” one doctor was quoted as saying.
Supreme Court of Brazil: Public Hearing on the Decriminalization of Abortion, August 3rd & 6th 2018– Antecedents, Content, Meanings
9 October 2018
by Sonia Corrêa, Sexuality Policy Watch
On August 3rd and 6th 2018, the Supreme Court of Brazil held a Public Hearing on ADPF 442/2017, a juridical instrument that challenges the constitutionality of the articles in the 1940 Penal Code that criminalize abortion. This challenge was presented to the Supreme Court in March 2017. In her opening remarks, the then Chief Justice Carmen Lucia defined the hearing as a space opened by the Court for society to manifest its views on the matter and raise arguments that could contribute to a more just judgment.
Presidential Candidates Need to Heed Abortion Debate
September 24, 2018
Margaret Wurth, Senior Researcher, Children's Rights Division
Activists around the world will mark the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion on September 28. Like several other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Brazil is in the midst of a vigorous public debate around abortion following a recent Supreme Court hearing on the issue. Brazil’s criminal code still severely restricts access to legal abortion. But the fact that the issue is being discussed openly, including in the presidential campaign, and that women are coming forward to share their stories of ending a pregnancy, is already a significant step forward.
Under the criminal code in Brazil, abortion is illegal except in cases of rape, when necessary to save a woman’s life, or when the fetus suffers from anencephaly – a fatal congenital brain disorder. Activists have fought for years to ease the country’s abortion restrictions, citing evidence that criminal penalties do nothing to reduce abortion, but instead lead women to risk their health and lives to terminate pregnancies clandestinely.
They Lost Argentina’s Abortion Vote, but Advocates Started a Movement
By Daniel Politi and Ernesto Londoño
Aug. 9, 2018
BUENOS AIRES — They narrowly lost the vote. But as supporters of a bill to legalize abortion in Argentina began to shake off a stinging defeat in the Senate on Thursday, they took consolation in having galvanized a reproductive-rights movement across Latin America and began to consider how to redirect their activism.
A coalition of young female lawmakers who stunned the political establishment by putting abortion rights at the top of the legislative agenda this year seemed to be on the verge of a historic victory with the bill. But intense lobbying by Catholic Church leaders and staunch opposition in conservative northern provinces persuaded enough senators to vote against it.
Tensions flare in Brazil as supreme court considers loosening abortion restrictions
by Marina Lopes
August 6 2018
SAO PAULO — Brazil’s supreme court is considering decriminalizing abortion through the 12th week of pregnancy, stoking activists' hopes that the country could follow other Latin American nations in loosening abortion restrictions.
Hearings on the issue, which began Friday and continued on Monday, included testimony from dozens of doctors, specialists and religious leaders. Tensions flared in the days leading up to the hearings, with activists on both sides speaking out. Outside the supreme court on Friday, women donned red robes resembling those worn on the hit TV show, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” in favor of decriminalization. Meanwhile, #AbortionisaCrime trended on Twitter, and churches sounded their bells in protest.
Brazil’s Supreme Court Considers Decriminalizing Abortion
By Manuela Andreoni and Ernesto Londoño
Aug. 3, 2018
Leer en español
PETRÓPOLIS, Brazil — For three days after she had an illegal abortion, Ingriane Barbosa Carvalho hemorrhaged in silence. Even as she writhed in pain, and an infection caused by the botched procedure spread, Ms. Carvalho insisted to relatives she was just nursing a stomach bug.
By the time she sought medical help, it was too late. Ms. Carvalho, a 31-year-old mother of three, died seven days later.
Despite threats, Brazilian activist readies for abortion hearing
RIO DE JANEIRO
August 2, 2018
Undeterred by death threats, a leading pro-choice campaigner said on Thursday that she is ready to give evidence to Brazil’s top court in a hearing that could pave the way to decriminalize abortion, an issue which divides the Catholic nation.
With the supreme court hearing due to open on Friday, the government has assigned a round the clock bodyguard to protect Debora Diniz, a law professor at the University of Brasilia, after she received death threats in June.
Professor forced into hiding by death threats over Brazil abortion hearing
Campaigner involved in case that could lead to legal abortion in first 12 weeks of pregnancy enters protection programme
Dom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro
Thu 2 Aug 2018
Days before a Brazilian supreme court hearing on a move that could eventually decriminalise abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, a leading feminist campaigner is in hiding after receiving death threats.
Debora Diniz, a professor of anthropology at the University of Brasília, who helped bring the legal action with bioethics institute Anis, is sequestered in an unknown location but will still appear at the two-day hearing, which starts on Friday.
Brazil: Decriminalize Abortion
Court Considering Petition to Expand Access
July 31, 2018
(São Paulo) – Brazil’s abortion laws are incompatible with its human rights obligations, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a video about the issue. Human Rights Watch will speak at a public hearing on August 3 and 6, 2018, as part of a Supreme Court case challenging the criminalization of abortion in Brazil in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Human Rights Watch will urge the court to consider Brazil’s obligations under international law in reaching its ruling.
Abortion is legal in Brazil only in cases of rape, when necessary to save a woman’s life, or when the fetus suffers from anencephaly – a fatal congenital brain disorder. Women and girls who terminate pregnancies under any other circumstances face up to three years in prison.
Brazilian women braced for battle amid simmering fears over abortion
The abortion debate is nearing a crossroads in a country where stringent laws put women seeking terminations at deadly risk
Jo Griffin in Rio de Janeiro
Thu 26 Apr 2018
For her first abortion, Anna went to a clandestine clinic in the south zone of Rio de Janeiro where a doctor bungled the procedure and left her needing further treatment. Years later, no trace remains of the now-defunct clinic, yet memories of the experience still stir anxiety.
“Even if the service was good, you knew you could go to prison if you were found out,” says Anna, who wanted to be known only by her first name. “And if something went wrong, who could you ask for help? There was no one.”