Society

Prosecutor’s abortion request highlights contradictions in Brazil’s legislation

A prosecutor in Goiás state has requested a pregnant woman suffering from cancer be allowed to undergo an abortion in order to treat her disease. Despite obvious risk to the mother's life, such legal abortions are difficult to obtain in Brazil

Pro-choice activists prepare placards before a demonstration in Goiânia. Photo: Angela Macario/Shutterstock
Pro-choice activists prepare placards before a demonstration in Goiânia. Photo: Angela Macario/Shutterstock

A woman suffering from intestinal cancer is seeking an abortion in Brazil so as to proceed with life-saving chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment. The prosecutor’s office in the state of Goiás said on Monday that it had requested judicial permission for the termination on behalf of the unnamed woman and her medical team.

Under Brazil’s strict abortion laws, terminating a pregnancy is a crime punishable with up to three years in prison for the mother, and one to four years behind bars for the person who performs the procedure. 

Exceptions are allowed in cases of rape, fetal anencephaly, or when the...

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