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News > Latin America

Feminists in Sao Paulo Mark Latin American Day of Struggle for the Decriminalization of Abortion

  • Brazilian women demonstrate in favor of legalized abortion.

    Brazilian women demonstrate in favor of legalized abortion. | Photo: AFP

Published 28 September 2017

Abortion is still criminalized in Brazil and most parts of Latin America.

To mark Latin American and Caribbean Day of Struggle for the Decriminalization of Abortion, feminist groups in Sao Paulo, Brazil held a public discussion on the criminalization of abortion in the country.

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The group gathered to discuss current threats against women's reproductive rights under right-wing Michel Temer’s administration. Lawmakers are currently discussing a proposed amendment that would outlaw abortion in all cases. Currently, abortion is legal if it threatens the mother's life or in instances of rape.

The event featured a talk by Amelinha Telles, from the Sao Paulo Women's Union, who was persecuted during the country’s dictatorship between 1964 to 1985. Others who spoke included Sinara Gumieri, a lawyer and researcher with the Anis Institute of Bioethics; the coordinating public defender of the Specialized Center for the Promotion of Women's Rights (Nudem), Ana Rita Prata; and Luciana Araújo, a member of the Black Women's March.

"Some 'enlightened' have (continued to reverse) … what we have been fighting for, especially (for) poor and black women who must  (go underground) to interrupt their pregnancy, often causing problems like sterility and avoidable deaths,” Paulo Sandra Mariano, a member of the State Forum of Black Women and the National Coordination of Black Entities of Sao, said. “If a woman dies from the practice of abortion (underground), without assistance and without rights, this is very serious."

In an earlier interview with Radio Brasil Atual, Mariano had also pointed out the prejudice women face surrounding abortion, even from health care workers.

"When the woman arrives at the hospital with pain and bleeding, she is poorly cared for, and medical professionals joke from the moment she enters the emergency room,” the activist pressed. "Where's the partner, the father in this situation?"

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