Efforts Continue to Legalize Abortion in Brazil

Under no circumstances can abortion be a solution.
The legalization of abortion continues to be sought in Brazil through various strategies, both in the National Congress and in the Federal Supreme Court (STF).

ADPF 442/2017 was sent to the STF by the political party PSOL, requesting the approval of the abortion until the 12 weeks of pregnancy. Public hearings are scheduled to be held in June to discuss the issue.

In the Chamber of Deputies, it processes PL 882/2015, which also asks for the approval of the abortion until 12 weeks of pregnancy and excludes articles of the Penal Code referring to abortion, which would, in fact, decriminalize it totally, regardless of gestational age. Also in the Senate, by popular request, was received Suggestion 15, requesting the regulation of voluntary termination of pregnancy within the first 12 weeks of gestation by the Unified Health System (SUS).

Illustrative photo: Wesley Almeida / cancaonova.com
The situations that lead pregnant women to think about abortion tend to be quite complex, involving loneliness, abandonment, lack of dialogue with one’s own family, lack of commitment from the child’s father, economic problems and so many others. That is why pregnant women, especially younger women, need different types of support.

The legalization of abortion can not be presented as a “solution” to the question, as if the dilemma consisted in a contrast between clandestine abortion, which could also endanger the mother, and legal abortion, in which the child is eliminated , as if the problem were the presence of this innocent life.

Acceptance and appreciation of life
It is up to families and society to seek ways of welcoming and valuing life, both mother and child. Effectively, a pregnant woman no longer has the option of having a child or not, but only the alternative of having a living child or a dead child if she performs an abortion, and this also kills something inside her, even if she screams loudly that she would only be exercising a right.

There is no right over the life of the child, because this right corresponds to the child, already generated and developing. The mother can take the child from her womb, but it does not take it from the head or from the heart. It is for this reason that so many suffer for the rest of their lives, because of their abortion, often in their youth. These people also need support to overcome the trauma.

Complex problems require broad approaches: education, especially of affectivity and sexuality, to drastically reduce the number of accidental, unwanted pregnancies; dialogue so that adolescents and young people do not find themselves isolated in difficult times; policies to support pregnant women, which provide conditions for the mother and child. Society can not “wash its hands” with the false solution to abortion facilitation, as if it were inevitable.

Valuing life
As for the 12-week abortion period, abortion is totally arbitrary, with no scientific basis, so much so that it is not universal among countries that accept abortion. Portugal allows up to 10 weeks, other countries up to 9 months. Science shows that at 3 weeks, the embryo has a fully formed and functioning heart and vascular system, legs and arms begin to dawn, and abrupt movements appear for the first time.

Between the 5th and 10th weeks of gestation, the main organs and systems of the embryo form and, as these structures develop, they affect the image of the embryo, which is acquiring a human figure. At week 7, the embryo already has sensory cells in the skin and throughout the body. By week 8, all organs are already formed. At the end of the 10th week of gestation, the embryo is almost all formed (heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and intestines). Thereafter, the fetal period begins.

During the fetal period, there is basically the maturation and growth of the baby’s organs and systems. At 11 weeks, all organs are in place in your body; and beginning at week 12, the formation of the main bones of the body begins and their nails appear, as well as fingerprints. There is no significant change between the 12th and 13th weeks that would justify a radical change in the legislation regarding the human being with these two ages.

Lenise Garcia – professor at the University of Brasília and president of the National [Brazil] Movement for Citizenship for Life – Brazil without Abortion.