Fernando Vianna, a lawyer in the Brazilian town of Campinas, denounced the NGO Bem-Estar Familiar (BemFam) this week for “directing women to have abortions” and said the organization has “complete disrespect” for the law. “In effect they are apologists for something criminal. There is no right to that,” he said.
In an interview with CNA, Vianna explained that information uncovered about the NGO led him to initiate a “police investigation” into the pro-abortion activities of BemFam, as abortion is a crime under Brazilian law.
He noted that abortion is legal in Brazil only in two circumstances: when “there is a risk to the woman’s life” or in “cases of rape.” “In these cases it is permissible to have an abortion,” Vianna explained. “It is not possible to have an abortion when the pregnancy is unwanted,” he added.
He pointed out that those who counsel an abortion or help to carry it out are also responsible before the law and face penalties of up to four years in prison. Vianna said it was unacceptable that in a democratic state certain persons who were unable to get Congress to change the law on abortion now attempt to achieve the same goal through illegal means.
“What should concern them (BemFam) is the trauma that is commonly suffered by women (who undergo an abortion): post-abortion trauma, a serious psychological trauma that is not taken into account. There is no [respect for the] right to information. What they are seeking is to induce, instigate or assist in the practice of an abortion,” Vianna said. “Independent of the moral and religious questions, in Brazil abortion is a crime and anyone who participates or assists in one must be held legally accountable,” he stressed.
Vianna told CNA that the Brazilian constitution “guarantees the right to life as a sacred right. This right must be preserved. It’s not possible for people to go against this right,” he said, adding that “life inside the womb is life that must be preserved. Institutions have the duty to preserve it.”
BenFam has received $150,000 in aid from the International Planned Parenthood Federation for its abortion activities.