Explaining Brazil #22: Abortion rights in Brazil

In the morning of February 16, 2015, a 19-year-old woman checked into a hospital in São Bernardo do Campo, on the outskirts of São Paulo, suffering from internal bleeding.

She would leave the hospital later that same afternoon, in handcuffs, arrested.

The young woman had performed an illegal abortion at home – and was reported to the police by her own doctor. In order to go home and wait for her trial, she had to pay BRL 1,000 bail and faced three years in prison.

Abortion is a crime in Brazil, except in a few cases: rape, when the life of the mother is at risk, and when the fetus develops without a brain.

That could change this year. On Friday, August 3, the Supreme Court will begin a series of public hearings with members of civil society on the topic of abortion rights. This is the first step toward analyzing a case which could give Brazilian women the right to interrupt unwanted pregnancies until the 12th week.

To discuss the case, and its possible repercussions, Explaining Brazil talked to Carmen Martínez, Regional Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Center for Reproductive Rights.

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On this podcast

Gustavo Ribeiro has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets, including Veja, Época, Folha de São Paulo, Médiapart and Radio France Internationale. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Abril Prize for outstanding political journalism. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science and Latin American studies from Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris.

Based in Colombia, Carmen Martínez is the Regional Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Center for Reproductive Rights. The CRR is a global legal advocacy organization that seeks to advance reproductive rights. The organization will argue in front of the Brazilian Supreme Court in favor of abortion rights to Brazilian women.

This podcast was produced by Maria Martha Bruno. Maria Martha is a journalist with 14 years of experience in politics, arts, and breaking news. She has collaborated with Al Jazeera, NBC and CNN, among others, and worked as an international correspondent in Buenos Aires.

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