Anxiety in Brazil as Supreme Court decision on abortion looms

Anxiety in Brazil as Supreme Court decision on abortion looms


Several pro-life groups are stepping up activities in hopes of preventing a Supreme Court decision today that would legalize abortion in cases of anencephaly and would open the door to abortion on demand in the country.

At the beginning of July, Chief Justice Marco Aurelio Mello ruled that babies suffering from the condition could be birthed earlier than usual in order to hasten death.  Anencephaly always results in the death of the baby, whose brain is either underdeveloped or non-existent.

In his ruling, Mello also struck down any criminal statues that would implicate mothers, doctors, or health care workers who participate in anencephaly abortions.

In August, the Supreme Court justices voted not to reverse the ruling by Mello, but rather to issue a direct ruling on the merits of these abortions after a debate scheduled to take place today.

According to the Defense of Life Movement, “This is about spearheading the total legalization of abortion in Brazil.”  The group said the objective of the case before the Supreme Court “is to step by step broaden the instances in which abortion is permitted by law in order to get society used to facing the death of innocent children as something ‘normal’ or as ‘a woman’s right,’ until abortion is finally legalized, with no restrictions and for any reason.  If we do not act now, afterwards it could be too late.”

Brazil’s Attorney General, Claudio Fontelles, has said he is opposed to the procedure and that the aborting of any baby is a violation of the right to life.