Brazil bans abortions even in cases of rape

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A committee of the Brazilian Senate, dominated by Evangelicals, has voted in favor of banning abortions in the country, even in cases of rape or when the mother's life is in danger.

The decision was approved by 18 votes in favor and one late Wednesday night by a special committee considering a constitutional reform that will extend maternity leave for mothers who give birth prematurely.

The vote against the abortion came from the only woman present, Erika Kokai of the Labor Party, who described the decision as a maneuver by the majority of the anti-abortion committee.

Abortions are prohibited in Brazil, where most residents are Catholic, except in cases where the pregnancy was the result of rape or when the mother's life is in danger. In 2012, the Supreme Court allowed the abortion of fetuses suffering from brainlessness.

More than one million abortions are performed in illegal clinics each year, and thousands of women end up in hospitals because of their complications, according to government estimates.

But even the few cases where abortion is allowed have been targeted by the growing number of evangelicals in Congress, which has led to more conservative decisions on social issues.

"Defending abortions, whether you like it or not, is a diabolical and destructive act," Senator Pastor Eurico told the committee, holding a dummy of a 12-week-old fetus.

To ban abortion altogether, two-thirds of parliamentarians in both houses of Congress need to vote in favor. However, the measure may be able to overcome this obstacle, as the government is expected to use it in return to pass other bills, such as the pension reform needed to close the country's budget gap.

(With information from RES-ICU)


Source: HuffPost