Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug 2, 2013 / 14:31 pm
Four days after Pope Francis left Brazil, President Dilma Rousseff signed into a law a measure that opens the door to the distribution of abortion-causing drugs in the country's public health care system.
Upon its publication in the government's official journal, the August 1 law requires health care centers in Brazil to administer the "morning-after pill" to women who say they have been raped up to 72 hours after the crime.
The head of Brazil's Special Secretariat for Women's Policies, Eleonora Menicucci, an avid abortion proponent, defended Rousseff saying the decision to sign the law was out of "respect for Congress and for women."
The new norm, she said, will have "a positive impact in preventing abortion in women who have been the victims of rape," although she acknowledged that it allows for abortifacient "emergency contraception."