Brazil – Presidential Candidates Need to Heed Abortion Debate

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.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/09/24/presidential-candidates-need-heed-abortion-debate

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Supreme Court of Brazil to hear experts on decriminalization of abortion on 3rd and 6th August 2018

FEATURE: Supreme Court of Brazil to hear experts on decriminalization of abortion on 3rd and 6th August 2018
1 August 2018

PRESS RELEASE

Debate on the decriminalization of abortion starts this week in the Supreme Court of Brazil – 3rd/6th August 2018

Public hearing

On Friday August 3rd and Monday August 6th, the Brazilian Supreme Court will hold a public hearing about the decriminalization of abortion. At the hearing, 50 speakers are scheduled to be heard, including health, law and social science experts, as well as feminist and international human rights organizations, and religious representatives.

Continued: https://mailchi.mp/safeabortionwomensright/feature-supreme-court-of-brazil-to-hear-experts-on-decriminalization-of-abortion-on-3rd-and-6th-august-2018?e=aa9f6b38bd

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Brazil: Decriminalize Abortion

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.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/07/31/brazil-decriminalize-abortion

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Brazil: No Woman Should Need to Beg for An Abortion

No Woman Should Need to Beg for An Abortion

Margaret Wurth, Researcher, Children's Rights Division
December 1, 2017

Last week, Rebeca Mendes Silva Leite, a 30-year-old woman from São Paulo, Brazil, asked Brazil’s Supreme Court for permission to safely and legally terminate an unplanned pregnancy she does not want to continue.

No woman should find herself in this position. But because Rebeca lives in Brazil, where abortion is illegal in most circumstances, she does not qualify for a legal abortion.

Continued at source: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/12/01/no-woman-should-need-beg-abortion

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Petition to Supreme Court of Brazil seeks decriminalization of abortion

PRESS RELEASE: Petition to Supreme Court of Brazil seeks decriminalization of abortion
March 7, 2017, by Safe Abortion

A petition was filed today, 7 March 2017, with the Brazilian Supreme Court which calls for the decriminalization of abortion on request up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. The petition was filed by the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL), with support from Anis - Institute of Bioethics.

The petition – calling for decriminalization of abortion on request up to 12 weeks of pregnancy – has been signed by a group of women lawyers and filed with the Brazilian Supreme Court to day, 7 March 2017.

It has been presented on the eve of International Women’s Day on 8 March, a day on which an international general strike will take place, with women taking the day off from both paid and unpaid labour in protest against oppression.

In Latin America, many women will march under the slogan Ni Una Menos (Not One Woman More) demanding an end to violence against women. In this context, the petition calls for the protection of women’s rights so that no woman has to face humiliation, fear of imprisonment or the risk of injury or death as a result of an unsafe abortion.

In Brazil, abortion is a crime under the 1940 Penal Code; the only three exceptions are in cases of rape, risk to the woman’s life, and fetal anencephaly. The latter legal ground was also granted in a Supreme Court decision, in 2012, which was supported by Anis - Institute of Bioethics.

The petition presented today states that the criminalization of abortion violates women's rights to dignity, citizenship, non-discrimination, life, equality, freedom, freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, health, and family planning, all of which are protected under the Constitution of Brazil.

The Brazil National Abortion Survey 2016 found that in 2015 alone, more than half a million women had abortions in Brazil. Racial and class inequalities make abortion a more common event in the lives of women with greater social vulnerabilities: 15% of Black and Indigenous women have had an abortion in their lives, while 9% of White women have. The criminalization of abortion has serious consequences for women, especially Black and Indigenous women, women living in under-developed regions of the country, and all women who are poor, because they have less access to safe, albeit illegal abortions.

The criminalization of abortion causes morbidity and deaths that are almost all preventable. Abortion is a very safe procedure. Yet, recent studies estimate that 8–18% of maternal deaths worldwide are from complications of unsafe abortion, which are concentrated in lower income countries where abortion is legally restricted. In Brazil, research shows that about half of the women who have illegal abortions in the country have had to be hospitalized.

If the Supreme Court of Brazil votes in favour of the petition proposed by PSOL and Anis, and decriminalizes abortion on request up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, they will be taking an important stand as guardians of the Brazilian Constitution in protecting the fundamental rights of women.

CONTACT ANIS AT: comunicacao@anis.org.br

For more information: http://www.anis.org.br

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AnisBioetica

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Anis_Bioetica

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Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://us12.campaign-archive2.com/?u=c02a095d6213ac4bd2aed2e81&id=8a4cc80288&e=3fa4c971b0

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