.- Brazil’s Congress is considering accepting a motion that would free the country of any obligation to adhere to the “Brasilia Consensus,” a July 16 document which proposes that abortion on demand be allowed in Brazil and throughout Latin America.
The document, which was promoted by Nilceia Freire, Brazil’s Minister for Women’s Affairs, was signed at the conclusion of the 11th Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Congress, which was held in Brasilia in July, was promoted by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, an entity linked to the U.N. Freire hosted the event and was an enthusiastic promoter of the final document, titled the “Brasilia Consensus.”
The document calls on countries in Latin America to review their own laws that impose punishment on women who undergo abortions.
According to the Defense of Life Movement, such an action would violate Brazil’s Constitution and Brazilian law. Both currently grant protection to human life without distinction. In addition, the “Brasilia Consensus” violates the American Convention on Human Rights, a binding agreement that carries the force of law in Brazil.
Brazil’s legislature has set a vote to decide whether to reject the document in its entirety. A number of lawmakers have pointed out that Freire’s proposal to change the country’s laws is a usurpation of the powers of Congress and that interference by the U.N. seriously affects the sovereignty of countries in Latin America.
Carlos Polo, director of the Population Research Institute’s Office for Latin America, explained to CNA that the Brasilia Consensus exhibits the logic of “sexual and reproductive rights + reproductive health = legal abortion,” something that is not a part of the legal framework of many countries in the region and therefore contradicts the idea of a consensus.
“For example, in Peru, a bill on Reproductive Health has not received enough support for passage even after attempts over eight years, and there is no indication things will change in the future,” Polo said. “For years, the promoters of this ideological discourse of ‘reproductive and sexual rights’ and ‘reproductive health’ went to great lengths to claim it did not include abortion. Today we see clearly and in writing from this document that they were not telling the truth,” he affirmed.