Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Apr 20, 2020 / 08:25 am America/Denver (CNA).
On Friday, Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court will hold a virtual hearing to consider whether to decriminalize abortion for pregnant women infected with the Zika virus.
The legal intervention, called “Direct Action on Unconstitutionality-ADI 5581,” was filed with Brazil’s highest court by the National Association of Public Defenders. Supreme Court Justice Cármen Lúcia Antunes Rocha will present the legal action to the court, whose 11 members will have until April 30 to vote on the issue.
Several pro-life organizations have come out strongly against efforts to expand abortion, which is illegal in Brazil but is considered a “non-punishable crime” in cases of rape, a proven risk to life of the mother and, as of 2012, babies diagnosed with anencephaly.
“It’s a usurpation of powers because the Supreme Court does not have competency to rule on this matter,” said jurist José Miranda de Siqueira, president of the National Association of Citizens for Life. “This is a crime against the Federal Constitution of Brazil which in Article V guarantees the inviolability of the right to life.”
“We’re working with the Union of Catholic Jurists of Rio de Janeiro and will soon issue a strong statement on the issue,” continued Miranda, who is also a bioethics professor and authored a book on euthanasia, “O Poder sobre a Vida” (The Power over Life), which specifically addresses ADI 5581.