Judge Aluizio Pereira dos Santos, who is handling a case against Doctor Neide Motta, accused of operating a clandestine abortion clinic for over 20 years in the Brazilian town of Campo Grande, refused to bow to pressure from abortion supporters to stop investigations into the clinic’s activities.
The Brazilian House of Representatives’ Committee on Human Rights and Minorities had asked the court not to investigate the thousands of women who supposedly underwent illegal abortions at the clinic, arguing that to do so would amount to discrimination. Pereira dos Santos met with Pompeo de Mattos, the committee president, to explain that the law demands openness in these kinds of cases, and lawmakers responded by demanding the norms be changed.
Some 10,000 patient files were found at the illegal clinic. Judge Pereira dos Santos noted that Brazilian law declares illegal abortions to be a crime and punishable by up to three years in prison.