Brazil’s Congress nixes government funding of abortions, sex changes for minors

Eduardo Bolsonaro Brazilian congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of former president Jair Bolsonaro, speaks to the media on Oct. 22, 2023. | Credit: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images

Just prior to its Christmas recess, the National Congress of Brazil passed an amendment to the Budgetary Guidelines Law (LDO) of 2024 that prohibits the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions and sex-change surgeries for minors. 

However, the amendment is expected to be vetoed by Brazil’s socialist president, Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva.

The amendment stipulates that the government will not be able to promote, encourage, or finance abortions with taxpayer money except in cases authorized by law. It also says the government will not be able to promote, encourage, or finance sex-change surgeries for children and adolescents, including actions that encourage minors to choose gender options other than their biological sex and actions that entail the deconstruction, reduction, or extinction of the concept of the traditional family, which consists of father, mother, and children.

The amendment was proposed by federal deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of former president Jair Bolsonaro, and approved in the House on Dec. 19 by a vote of 305-141 and in the Senate by a margin of 43-26. According to Eduardo Bolsonaro, the guidelines in the amendment “seek to prevent attacks on the family.”

“And, in fact, this is what the majority of the population thinks today,” the lawmaker said. “You cannot imagine that you will pay taxes and then sponsor unlawful acquisition of Indigenous lands, abortions, or sex changes for children.” 

According to the LDO rapporteur, federal deputy Danilo Forte, President Lula will veto the amendment because “it’s not part of the LDO’s sphere of responsibility.”

The LDO guides the preparation of next year’s budget and sets the deadlines for individual and state parliamentary amendments for 2024. 

This story was first published by ACI Digital, CNA’s Portuguese-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by ACI Prensa/CNA.

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