by Steven Ertelt
April 11, 2008
Brasilia, Brazil (LifeNews.com) — A new poll of Brazilians conducted in late March finds them strongly opposed to changing the nation’s law that prohibits abortions. Abortion advocates there have tried to force the government to vote a second time on a bill to legalize abortions after the government backed down from a bill it sent Congress in 2005.
The South American nation only allows abortions in the very rare cases when the woman is a victim of rape or if the pregnancy threatens her life.
The daily newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo conducted the poll March 25-27 with interviews of 4,044 Brazilian adults and the survey had a two percent margin of error.
The poll found 68 percent of Brazil citizens want the current pro-life law to remain in place — a number that has increased in each of the last two years.
The 2007 version of the poll found 65 percent wanted to keep the abortion ban and 63 percent favored the ban in 2006.
Just 14 percent said they favored modifying the pro-life law to allow abortions in some cases — down from 16 percent last year and 17 percent in 2006. Only 11 percent of Brazilians favor making abortions legal wholesale and that statistic remains unchanged from the 2006 survey.
The results of the new survey confirm those from an October 2006 survey by the Pew Research firm.
Pew found 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 Brazils 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 wants abortion legalized even though legal abortions still hurt women physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Only Cuba, Mexico City and Guyana have legalized abortions in Latin America, but abortion advocates in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay are trying to add those nations to the list.