Deputies demonstrate against criminalization of abortion in Brazil

Brasilia, Jun 20.- A group of mostly women this Wednesday joined the first demonstration of the Girl is not a Mother movement in the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies against a bill that equates abortion with the crime of homicide.

Sadly, Brazil is an unsafe country for the lives of women and girls.

This bill represents an affront to our dignity by attempting to criminalize women who have the right to legal abortion’, former candidate for the Federal District (DF) government, social worker Keka Bagno, told the daily newspaper O Tempo.

She, also a member of the Front for the Legalization and Decriminalization of Abortion in Mexico City, pointed out that legal abortion ‘is a right that has been won for decades in our country, and now faces religious fundamentalism and political conservatism’.

The group of complainants intends to deliver a letter to the president of the lower house, Arthur Lira, in which they request that Bill 1904/24 to be shelved.

One of the main criticisms of the text is that it establishes a harsher penalty for women who carry out abortions resulting from rape than for perpetrators.

The proposal foresees a penalty of six to 20 years for women, while the penalty for rapists varies from six to 10 calendars if the victims are adults, and from eight to 12 years in the case of minors.

Abortion is a crime in Brazil, but there are three situations in which it is permitted.

These are the cases of legal termination: foetal anencephaly, i.e. malformation of the brain of the foetus, pregnancy that endangers the life of the pregnant woman, and pregnancy resulting from rape.

Shyness, suspicion and lack of information about their rights mean that eight out of 10 girls and women who are victims of rape in the country do not go to the police or to a health service after suffering sexual aggression.

However, nine out of 10 Brazilians (87 per cent) believe that women who have been assaulted should have the option of abortion, as established by law, according to a study carried out by the Patrícia Galvão and Locomotiva institutes.

Once again, the bill ‘is an attempt to legislate on the bodies of women and girls’, said Bagno.  (Taken from Prensa Latina)