Tags: abortions | illegal | Brazil | widespread

Illegal Abortions Widespread in Brazil

Wednesday, 02 Jun 2010 07:41 AM

It should not be too surprising that in Brazil, the country with the largest number of Roman Catholics (73% of the populace, or about 140 million), abortion is illegal except in cases of rape, when the mother's life is in danger or when the fetus has severe genetic abnormalities.

Indeed, the ban on abortion is an immovable plank in the campaign platforms of the two main candidates in Brazil's upcoming presidential election. Yet a recent study revealed that 1 in 5 Brazilian women of child-bearing age has terminated a pregnancy, and statistics by the Health Ministry show that 200,000 women each year are hospitalized because of complications arising from unsafe abortions.

The study has shocked doctors, who were surprised at just how common the illegal procedures are.

"I think the big conclusion we draw from this is that the woman who has an abortion is a typical Brazilian woman," says Marcelo Medeiros, the economist and sociologist who coordinated the government-funded study. "She could be your cousin, your mother, your sister or your neighbor. All the evidence shows this is a serious problem and one that is not being debated openly."

Outgoing President Luiz InÁcio Lula da Silva, who says he is personally against abortion, is on the record calling for the state to discuss it as a public-health, rather than as a moral, issue.

The popular President, however, has done little to foster any wider debate on legalizing the procedure, and his government has not made reducing maternal mortality - which is tied to the unsafe abortions - one of its health goals.

To read full TIME story — Go Here Now.

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It should not be too surprising that in Brazil, the country with the largest number of Roman Catholics (73% of the populace, or about 140 million), abortion is illegal except in cases of rape, when the mother's life is in danger or when the fetus has severe genetic abnormalities.
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2010-41-02
Wednesday, 02 Jun 2010 07:41 AM
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