I tried (and failed) to get a safe and legal abortion in Brazil
By Rebeca Mendes
Feb 09, 2018
I'm a 30-year-old Brazilian with two young children, temporary employment and hopes for an eventual legal career. When I sought permission to terminate my pregnancy, I was thinking about my family, my finances and my future. In the process I found myself at the center of a political story, becoming the first woman in our country to fight for an abortion in court based on personal, nonmedical needs.
Last month, the United States marked the 45th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade — a landmark decision that secured the right of American women to have an abortion. It remains the law of the land, despite repeated attempts to reverse the decision. Since filing my petition with Brazil's Supreme Court last year, many people have compared my suit to Jane Roe's. But there is one crucial difference: She won. The court denied my plea and women in Brazil continue to risk their health and lives if they decide to terminate a pregnancy.