Brazil legalises access to emergency contraception

Publié le : 9 September 2013

 On 1 August, Brazilian president, Dilma Roussef, sanctioned a law to safeguard the treatment of female victims of sexual violence in public hospitals aimed at the "prevention of pregnancy". As far as catholic and evangelical representatives at the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops (CNBB) are concerned, the lack of precision in the law "paves […] the way for the more widespread legalisation of abortion".         

In Brazil, abortion "is already authorised in the case of rape, up to the eighth week of pregnancy, if the foetus has severe congenital deformities and will not survive the birth, or when the mother’s life is in jeopardy".       
According to the CNBB, two articles in the new law should have been repealed due to a "lack of precision", which could lead to "incorrect interpretation" and "facilitate abortion". For Dom Antonio Augusto, assistant bishop of the archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro, the lack of precision regarding the notion of "sexual violence" "paves the way for abortion to be permitted on any grounds, in addition to rape". Furthermore, according to the La Croix daily newspaper, the law "obliges public hospitals to grant female victims of sexual violence […] the opportunity to avoid an unwanted pregnancy". For the Catholic Church, this law "constitutes the first step towards the broader decriminalisation of abortion". 

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