Thousands protest against plans for total abortion ban in Brazil

Thousands protest against plans for total abortion ban in Brazil

Thousands of women marched through the streets of Rio de Janeiro on Monday to protest a recent vote to make abortion illegal without exception in Brazil.

Many protesters carried their children in their arms or on their shoulders, shouting: "Our bodies are ours!"

Some scuffles broke out between protesters and police when the march reached the Rio state legislature. Police fired tear gas, but calm soon returned.

Abortion is currently allowed in Brazil in cases of rape, a pregnancy that threatens a woman's life or a fetus with anencephaly, a birth defect involving the brain.

But the congressional committee last week adopted a measure that would remove those exceptions, provoking widespread outrage even though many Brazilians hold conservative views on abortion.

Rodrigo Maia, speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, has said that any ban on abortion without an exception for rape would not pass his chamber.

The measure is part of a constitutional amendment, so it would need a super-majority in both Congress' lower house and the Senate to become law.

The demonstration in Rio was one of several organised in cities around Brazil on Monday. Women in Rio carried signs reading "Secular uterus" and "I don't deserve to bear the child of my rapist".

Others called for broader legalisation of abortion.

While Brazilian law severely restricts abortion, in practice wealthy women tend to have access to safe procedures in private clinics, while the poor often rely on risky ones.

An academic survey partially funded by the Ministry of Health estimated that more than 400,000 women had had an abortion in Brazil in 2015.

More on this topic

How a brave few are breaking Ireland’s abortion tabooHow a brave few are breaking Ireland’s abortion taboo

UN says UK violates women's human rights by criminalising abortions in Northern IrelandUN says UK violates women's human rights by criminalising abortions in Northern Ireland

Women march in Poland to demand Abortion rightsWomen march in Poland to demand Abortion rights

Readers' Blog: Pro-abortion agenda affected 8th committeeReaders' Blog: Pro-abortion agenda affected 8th committee


More in this Section

US to proceed with first federal execution in almost 20 yearsUS to proceed with first federal execution in almost 20 years

New Zealand mosque shooter sacks lawyers ahead of sentencingNew Zealand mosque shooter sacks lawyers ahead of sentencing

Covid-19 patients can suffer serious heart damage – studyCovid-19 patients can suffer serious heart damage – study

21 injured after explosion and fire on US navy ship21 injured after explosion and fire on US navy ship


Lifestyle

The long-tailed tit’s nest is an architectural marvel.Richard Collins: Altruism of the long-tailed tits or not

The flight that brought us home to Ireland after our seven months sojourn in the Canary Islands (half our stay intended, half not) was the most comfortable I’ve experienced in years. With a large plane almost entirely to yourself, you could again pretend you were somebody.Damien Enright: Wonderful to see the green, green grass of home

IRISH folklore is replete with stories of priests praying for fine weather to help farmers save their crops in wet summers. However, the opposite could soon be happening when divine powers may have to be invoked to provide rain. And not just for farmers.Donal Hickey: Praying for rain — in Ireland

Geography is often the defining factor for the destiny of an island. Those islands that lie close to the shore have often been snapped up by interests on the mainland and their morphology changed to something completely different.The Islands of Ireland: Tarbert morphed onto the mainland

More From The Irish Examiner