Brazil: Protest in Congress Against Criminalizing Abortion

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 be shelved.

On Wednesday, a group of mostly women in Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies is staging the first rally of the Girl is not a Mother movement against a bill that equates abortion with the crime of homicide.


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“Sadly, Brazil is a country that is unsafe for the lives of women and girls. This bill represents an affront to our dignity by attempting to criminalise women who have the right to legal abortion,” social worker Keka Bagno, a former candidate for the Federal District (DF) government, told the newspaper O Tempo.

She, also a member of the Front for the Legalisation and Decriminalisation of Abortion in Mexico City, pointed out that legal abortion “is a right that has been won for decades in our country, and that 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 be shelved.

“A child is not a mother, a rapist is not a father,” is the slogan for Brazil’s feminist movement that is currently fending off a right-wing legislative attack on abortion rights.

Mass protests took place across Brazil’s major cities over the weekend in rejection of a new law…

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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. poor formation of the foetus’ brain, 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 percent) believe that women who have been assaulted should have the option of abortion, as established by law, according to a study conducted by the Patrícia Galvão and Locomotiva institutes.

According to Bagno, the bill once again “attempts to legislate on the bodies of women and girls”.

Often, the main aggressors are fathers, stepfathers, uncles, men in whom these girls trust and who use relationships of power and family affection to keep the violence secret, she denounced.

She insisted that when these victims “seek the right to legal abortion, many are already in advanced stages of pregnancy, putting their lives at risk”.

The initiative had its urgency approved in lightning by the lower house on the 12th, making it possible to vote on the main content in plenary.

Now Lira announced that the discussion on the bill will be postponed to the second half of the year.