The Supreme Court of Brazil will consider whether to legalize abortion in cases of anencephaly at the end of August, with pro-life groups lining up to present arguments against the support for the change – Catholics for a Free Choice.
According to media reports, arguments will take place August 26-28 with several institutions addressing the Court. Among them will be: the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of Brazil, the National Pro-Life and Pro-Family Association, evangelical leaders, Brazilian medical associations, as well as feminist groups and abortion supporters.
On July 1, 2004, Chief Justice Marco Aurelio Mello approved a request by the National Confederation of Health Care Workers to allow anencephaly abortion. However, after several weeks of the debate, the full court voted 7-4 against Mello’s decision.
Brazilian media also reported that Justice Mello has not invited parents of anencephaly babies to attend the arguments, such as the mother of Marcela de Jesus Ferreira, who survived for 20 months against all odds despite suffering from the condition, which usually ends in death hours after birth.
Marcela did not die as a result of her birth defect but rather from cardio-respiratory failure due to pneumonia.