BRAZIL – Government imposes new restrictions on abortion for rape victims

Brazil allows abortion only in cases of rape, danger to the woman’s life or anencephaly. Two weeks after anti-abortion activists surrounded a hospital to try to stop a 10-year-old girl, who had been sexually abused for four years, from legally terminating a pregnancy resulting from the abuse, new regulations for rape victims seeking an abortion were published in the official gazette by the interim health minister, Eduardo Pazuello, an active-duty army general.

The new regulations stipulate that medical staff must tell the woman she must look at the embryo or fetus via ultrasound. Doctors are obligated to report all cases to the police, regardless of the woman’s wishes. The woman must give doctors “a detailed account” of what happened and must be “expressly warned” that she can be prosecuted for fraud and for illegal abortion if she is unable to prove her claim.

These triggered immediate protests from abortion rights supporters. Congresswoman Jandira Feghali reported on Al Jazeera that she had introduced a bill in Congress to block the Health Ministry’s decree, because of its multiple violations of victims’ rights.

Is this governmental revenge because a ten-year-old was able to get a legal abortion?

SOURCES: Deccan Herald, by AFP, 29 August 2020 ;, text, photo and video, by Monica Yanakiew, 1 September 2020