BRAZIL – Festival for Women’s Lives

In Brazil, the Festival for Women’s Lives was celebrated around the country, in Bahia, Paraíba, Paraná, Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo. A video produced by the Trenches Project was shown: “For Women’s Lives in the Supreme Court Debate”. This brought together the principal arguments mobilized during the public hearings on ADPF 442 in the Brazilian Supreme Court in August 2018, which discussed the decriminalization of abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy. A systematic compilation of media-reported abortion news and articles from January 2018 to today was also published by Abortion in the Media for public consultation (read in Portuguese). We believe this may be an interesting resource for further research into the abortion issue and we have done a preliminary analysis of it, producing an infographic.

On occasion of the 28th of September, feminist news outlet Gênero & Número published a special series of articles on the right to abortion which reveals that every two days a woman is prosecuted for abortion in Brazil, mainly due to breaches of medical confidentiality. These women are predominantly black and single mothers with no criminal record. The articles also show that 2019 was a very prolific year for anti-abortion bills: 28 bills have so far been proposed, of which 43% intend to criminalize the practice in all circumstances. The Integralist (Brazilian fascist) Catholic congressman Chris Tonietto (PSL/RJ) proposed three projects, being the main elected representative to proposing anti-abortion laws in the Brazilian Congress.

The Intercept published an article revealing that a measure approved by the Federal Council of Medicine and published on September 16 excluding women’s right to refuse pre-abortion therapy. The measure states that the “rights of the fetus” should take priority over women’s physical and mental integrity. According to feminist physician Melânia Amorim, this definition opens the way for other obstetric practices in line with the language proposed by Brazil’s “Statute of the Unborn“.

SOURCE: Sexuality Policy Watch newsletter, September 2019; PHOTO: Video of Supreme Court statements 2018