A Brazilian legislative committee passed a bill to protect unborn babies from abortion in all cases Wednesday, despite pressure on the South American country to expand its abortion laws.
The Daily Caller reports the bill passed by an overwhelming majority in an 18-1 vote. It would amend the constitution and recognize unborn babies’ right to life.
“To defend abortion, like it or not, is a Satanic, diabolical and destructive act,” Evangelical Congressman Pastor Eurico told the committee as he showed a model of a 12-week unborn baby.
In Brazil, abortion is legal in cases involving rape, incest and risks to the mother’s life; the country’s high court also ruled in 2012 that unborn babies with certain types of fatal anomalies also may be aborted, according to the report.
The bill would prohibit abortions in all cases and protect unborn babies’ right to life.
The committee vote is just a small hurdle. To become part of the constitution, the bill must pass both congressional bodies by a two-thirds majority.
Reuters speculated that the legislation may have a chance of passing: “The measure could clear those hurdles as part of a trade-off for other legislation the governing coalition seeks to pass, such as pension reform needed to plug a gaping budget deficit.”
Abortion activists have been pushing Brazil to legalize abortion on demand for years. In 2016, the country saw a concerted effort to push abortion during the zika virus scare. The virus was linked to microcephaly and other problems in unborn babies.
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But a poll at the time by the Datafolha Institute in Brazil found that 58 percent of Brazilians reject abortion in cases where pregnant women are infected with the Zika virus, according to the Catholic News Agency. According to the poll, 32 percent think the woman should be allowed to have an abortion and 10 percent had no opinion.
Brazilians also rejected abortion in cases where the unborn baby is diagnosed with microcephaly, with 51 percent opposed and 39 percent in favor, according to the report.