On Thursday, the Federal Council of Medicine in Brazil announced their support for legislative reform of the country's current abortion laws. The proposed legislation being debated in the Brazilian Senate would legalize abortion within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It would also expand a current exception that allows abortion in only in the case of brain defects to include other fetal anomalies and would allow abortion in cases of insemination or in-vitro fertilization without consent.
The Council's president, Roberto Luis d'Avila, told reporters, "The reality of the facts shows that women are getting abortions with great inequality... Rich women are getting them in safe conditions and the poor, completely unsafe... with complications, losing their uteruses, losing parts of their intestines, dying. It's not possible. This inequality is unacceptable from the medical point of view." In a statement released by the Council, d'Avila said "The council is not in favor of abortion, but rather the empowerment of women and physicians. In this sense, medical organizations agree with the proposal still under consideration in the Congress."
The Brazilian National Conference of Bishops has already spoken out against the Federal Council of Medicine for its position. Despite being predominantly Catholic, approximately 1 million abortions are performed illegally in Brazil a year. About 200,000 women die each year in Brazil from unsafe abortion, which is the fifth leading cause of death for women in the country.
Media Resources: International Business Times 3/23/2013; Associated Press 3/21/2013; BBC 3/21/2013
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill.
House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill.
The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .