Posted: December 15, 2015 Contributor: PRJKT RUBY
Why Brazilian Rape Victims May Soon Have a Harder Time Getting an Abortion
As it currently stands, the abortion laws in Brazil are unfavorable for women. Abortions are only legal for rape victims, cases of fetal brain damage or a pregnancy that critically endangers the health of the mother. If new legislation passes, however, it’s about to get a lot harder for rape victims who are seeking an abortion.
Rape is something that no woman should have to endure and when pregnancy results as a consequence, many women opt for an abortion. Under the new proposed law (PL5069) rape victims would need to jump through several hoops to be considered for an abortion and would essentially need to prove that they were raped. Sadly, we know this isn’t always such an easy thing to prove and when victims have undergone trauma, it’s not likely that they will be in the right state of mind to follow the proposed protocol.
Women would need to first file a police report and then have both forensic and psychological exams completed. As if that isn’t already pretty intimidating, this law would also threaten a prison sentence for anyone helping or advising a woman to have an abortion. This may also include the morning after pill (which is NOT an abortion but often gets lumped in to that category).
What politicians may not have counted on was the massive unrest this proposal has caused. In the largely catholic country, the topic of abortion is hotly debated.
Women are taking to the streets to protest the fact that their rights are in jeopardy of being taken away. Critics of the bill are also afraid that sexual violence (which is already and issue in Brazil) may become more prevalent in the wake of these law changes. Additionally, forcing women to identify their attacker may prevent many women from coming forward for fear of their own safety.