Brazil Equates Abortion and Homicide!
Hundreds of people demonstrate in favor of abortion on Paulista Avenue in São Paulo, Brazil, 28 September 2023. EFE/ Isaac Fontana

Brazil Equates Abortion and Homicide!


Brasilia, Jun 12 (EFE).-

The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday agreed to fast-track a bill that would equate performing an abortion after 22 weeks of pregnancy with homicide.

The proposal was presented by Deputy Sóstenes Cavalcante of the Liberal Party (PL), led by the ultra-right former president Jair Bolsonaro, and seeks to amend the Civil Code to establish penalties similar to those of homicide for women who terminate a pregnancy after 22 weeks.

The expedited status, approved by the conservative majority in the lower house, will allow the bill to be processed more quickly and go directly to the full House of Representatives.

Abortion is currently legal in Brazil only in cases of rape, danger to the mother’s life, or fetal anencephaly (a severe deformity in which the fetus lacks a large portion of its brain and skull), although the ultra-right and influential evangelical churches are fighting in parliament to tighten these conditions.

Under Cavalcante’s bill, an abortion performed after 22 weeks of pregnancy would be considered “simple homicide,” punishable by six to 20 years in prison.

The draft proposes that this classification should also be applied in cases where the pregnancy is the result of rape, which has sparked a wave of protests from progressive groups supporting the government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Opponents of the bill complain that the punishment for a woman who gets an abortion would be more severe than that for a rapist, which ranges from six to 12 years in prison.

The bill also contradicts a recent decision by a Supreme Court judge who, as a precautionary measure, overturned a decision by the Federal Council of Medicine prohibiting the induction of fetal asystole, a technique used to terminate pregnancies after 22 weeks, in cases of rape.

In his decision, Judge Alexandre de Moraes noted that in cases of rape, “Brazilian legislation does not expressly establish any type of circumstantial, procedural or temporal limitation for the performance of the so-called legal abortion.”

Lula’s administration responded to the congressional move through the Minister of Human Rights, Silvio Almeida, who called the bill “immoral and a reversal of the most basic values of civilization.”

Almeida said it was a “disaster” and a “provocation” for the legislative chambers to discuss whether “a rape victim and her rapist have the same value before the law, or worse, whether the rapist can be considered less of a criminal than the rape victim.”

He added that the bill is “clearly unconstitutional” because it “violates the principle of the dignity of the human person and subjects the rape victim to an unacceptable and discriminatory humiliation.” EFE


No posts to display