Brazil Health Conference Rejects Abortion in Suggestions for Government

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 21, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Brazil Health Conference Rejects Abortion in Suggestions for Government Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 21,

Brasilia, Brazil ( — Delegates to a national health conference in Brazil have rejected including abortion in a list of health care policy recommendations for the nation’s government. Abortion advocates have been working overtime there to legalize abortion despite polls showing a strong majority of citizens there support its pro-life laws.

Participants at the 13th National Conference of Health voted on 400 various health care proposals, including a measure supported by pro-abortion groups to legalize abortion.

According to an Agencia Brasil report, 70 percent of the 2,627 delegates rejected the proposal and it will not be included in the final report sent on to government leaders.

The news agency said abortion was presented as a "public health problem" with claims that there are a large number of illegal abortions in the South American nation. Reportedly, delegates booed the presented of the pro-abortion measure during their presentation.

Clovis Boufleur of the Ministry for Children told Agencia Brasil that the vote “reflects the thinking of the Brazilian people."

“Abortion does not resolve the health problem in Brazil,” Boufleur explained.

In fact, an August 2006 poll by Datafolha published in Folha de Sao Paulo found some 63 percent of Brazilians say they favor the current law banning abortions.

Only 17 percent of Brazil residents want to change the law to legalize abortion and some 11 percent want abortions banned in all cases, including life of the mother or rape and incest. Another 9 percent had no opinion.

The Datafolha poll featured interviews with 6,969 Brazilians and had just a two percent margin of error because of the large sample size.

Also, a Pew Research firm poll from October 2006 found that 79 percent of Brazil residents said abortion was never justified, 16 percent said sometimes justified and just 4 percent said abortion was always justified.
The feeling of Brazilians is important because Brazil’s socialist-leaning president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva and Brazilian health minister Jose Gomes Temporao want to legalize abortion.

They have already announced a plan to distribute the morning after pill, which can cause abortions in limited circumstances, at no cost.

Temporao claimed as many as 200,000 women were having illegal abortions and suffering from life-threatening complications as a result. He abortions abortion legalized even though legal abortions still hurt women physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Cardinal Eusebio Oscar Scheid, the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, told a gathering of 10,000 people earlier this year that the church would not back down from supporting the law.

A new debate on abortion would be the second after the government backed down from a bill it sent congress in 2005 to try to legalize abortions.

If approved, the legislation would have legalized abortions up to 12 weeks into pregnancy and up to 20 weeks in cases of rape or incest, if the mother’s life is at risk, or if the unborn child is unlikely to survive after birth.

Only Cuba, Mexico City and Guyana have legalized abortions in Latin America, but abortion advocates in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay are trying to authorize abortions there.