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Demonstrations against stricter abortion laws

In Brazil, abortions are only allowed after rape or when the mother's life is in danger. Conservatives now want to significantly tighten the laws. There are now nationwide protests against this.

In Brazil, thousands of people demonstrated against a planned tightening of abortion laws. In the metropolis of Rio de Janeiro, the protesters lit candles and chanted: “A girl is not a mother.”

Activist Vivian Nigri accused conservative politicians of putting “the rights of the fetus” above the “rights of children.” “A child should not be forced to carry a pregnancy that is the result of rape,” she said. There were also protests in the capital Brasília, São Paulo and Florianópolis.

In Brazil, abortions are currently only permitted after rape, if the fetus has a serious malformation or if the mother's life is in danger. In all other cases, abortion is considered a criminal offense and can be punished with up to four years in prison.

Abortion after the 22nd week should be “murder”

Conservative politicians now want to further tighten the restrictive abortion law. They are supported by the powerful evangelical churches. A bill being debated in the Brazilian parliament classifies abortions after the 22nd week of pregnancy as “murder”.

It provides for prison sentences of six to 20 years for terminating a pregnancy after the 22nd week – even in cases of rape.

Conservatives bypass committees

Influential conservative MPs introduced the bill directly into the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday, thereby bypassing the committee discussions. Leftists and women's rights activists reacted with outrage.

In their opinion, the tightening of the law would primarily affect girls and young women who, after a rape, often have problems talking about the violence they have experienced – or who only notice signs of pregnancy late.

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