Brazilian attorneys demand abortion rights for women infected with Zika

BMJ 2016; 354 doi:
(Published 25 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4657

Cláudia Collucci

A public attorneys’ association has asked Brazil’s Supreme Court to allow women who have contracted the Zika virus and are in a state of “great mental suffering” to have access to abortions.

Under Brazilian law, abortion is permitted only in cases of rape, when there is a threat to the mother’s life, or if the fetus has anencephaly.

The petition, which was delivered on 24 August, proposes that the mental suffering of pregnant women seeking abortions must be verified by medical and psychological reports. “[Abortion] would only occur in very exceptional cases,” said Joaquim Neto, president of the National Association of Public Defenders.

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Source: British Medical Journal