Saturday, October 16, 2010

Abortion in Brazil?

Abortion has been the topic of conversation ever since Dilma (presidential candidate) voiced her disapproval of the procedure. The kicker, 3 years ago she was quoted as being for abortion. 

The gossip is that she switched to gain votes as the population of Brazil is highly religious. 

The country does allow abortion under extreme circumstances and/or when the mother´s life is in danger.  That being said, there are places to have the procedure done if you are willing to pay. It´s a two step process where you pay at one location and then are given the address of the next.

This one is tough for me. I, personally, have never nor will ever have an abortion.  On the other hand, I´ve never found myself in a seriously difficult position in my life. Really.  My hardship was having to switch schools because my father was in the military. That´s quite different from not having enough food, being 13 years old, or something like that. 

Thus I feel it´s not my place to decide for a woman and, as much as I know it is a life, I can not imagine it necessarily being a good thing to bring a child into a home where they are not wanted, will not get the care they need, and will have to fend for themselves. Should that be the case.

Another on the other hand, I do not think that abortion should be a form of birth control.  Hells to the NO on that one! 

So if I were Brazil, which I´m not, I would open Planned Parenthoods in every neighborhood. Depending on the neighborhood, maybe 2. I would give out 6 months worth of free birth control pills at a time and that special free little baggie of condoms. Ah hell, let´s throw in some lube.

For those who say you are only encouraging them, have to seen the baby situation in Brazil? Baby´s babies are having babies. It´s out of control!  They are going to have sex. No one is making sure the kids are at home watching an after school special. We need to teach them how to protect themselves. 

Only when this is in place would I legalize abortion... but not late term. Nowhere in my head can I rationalize that one.

It hurts me to think about someone getting one. It breaks my heart now that I have kids.  But I´m not going to judge. I´m not that woman or that family. I have no idea what is going on in that home, in her heart, or in her head.  Everyone has to follow their path and sometimes it´s not a pretty one. Sometimes it just has a couple of clouds.  The thing is that it´s their path.  Their life lessons. I´m not one to tell anyone how to live or learn.

What are your thoughts?  How do you feel about Abortion and Dilma´s change of political heart?


  1. I saw the Veja article comparing Dilma's views. Rumors have been flying that even though she is saying NOW she is against Abortion when she becomes president she will legalize it. According to Veja it stated that Brazil allows in conditions of the mother dying. Also, my husband said in cases of rape. But the rape needs to documented and proven. I think you raised a really important point in Brazil. The lack of birth control and education. Must schools have no programs or infomation for teens. I think that one part of Lula's Bolsa familia program should be planned parenting classes after the first pregnancy (and parenting classes in general). I have seen thirteen year old girls pregnant here. One of the most troubling thing is that most of these girls are not middle or upper class. They are the working or underclass of Brazil. Some places are lucky like my city where mothers get something that could be compared to food stamps. If you make less thans two minimum salaries in Brazil you recieve package of food. Plus, now Paulinia offers a Bolsa Familia which is 150.00 heais per month. But really that is not enough for transportation, housing, food, clothes and good education for your children. I think it is so complicated. My city has free birth control at the clinic but not that many use this benefit because lack of education and knowledge.

  2. Rachel - you want to go there? Of course you do...

    For me - first: I am not aware of anyone who appreciates abortion as a form of birth control. This is a drastic choice taken under drastic circumstances. Every time. It is never a casual choice.

    It would seem to me if you support a woman's right to choose you would support Dilma's candidacy. I'm not saying - I'm just saying.

    The REAL effort to avoid unwanted pregnancies is an authentic sex education program in the schools. Dilma supports this as well.

  3. You know I like to go there.

    I am staying out of this one, in terms of who I support or not. I don´t get to vote so I won´t. I do support a woman´s right to choose. And I know that abortion being used as a form of BC is rare and it isn´t a light choice but I have experienced, first hand, it being treated as one. Oh, I´ll just have an abortion. Oops, now I need to. Regardless, it´s still a horrible experience for the person.

    Totally into sex ed and programs that support it such as planned parenthood. If Dilma supports that, and really does it, she gets a gold star from me.

  4. I think you and I have the same feelings on this. I am not, in any way, "pro-abortion", but I do believe that women should have the choice. And I believe that, because I don't for one second think I should be forcing other women to do what I think they should with their bodies.

    And I fully agree that forcefully bringing more unwanted, unloved, uncared for children into this world doesn't solve anything.

    I want a baby with all my heart and it breaks me to think of someone getting pregnant who would choose to terminate that pregnancy, but... I just can't bring myself to say that I should be able to make that choice for them.

  5. I'm with you, Rachel, SIF, Jim, etc. I could never choose abortion for myself. But I could also never choose, either way, for someone else. And I think education in the beginning, about prevention, about options, about safety, etc. is key. And getting that education to the kids who need it. Tricky business, but I think very much needed.

  6. Actually I think the main thing here is whether to choose to legalize abortion or to keep it illegal, meaning that women and girls try to do it themselves by overdosing on over the counter ulcer medidcine or other forms.

    The system of keeping abortion illegal serves the people with the money and the means to choose. Those who can pay can get the abortions, while so many poor are overcrowded from having too many babies or dying from performing illegal abortions.

    Education, and not just sex education, has been known to lower birth rates.

    That's all I have to say :)

  7. Rachel,

    I think Dilma as any experienced politician will say whatever she needs to say to get elected at that moment and then do whatever she needs to do to get reelected.
    Remember Obama promising to help with Gay rights? and now ... well... now nothing, we are no longer a priority, his administration is appealing against a California judge this week who had put an end to "Don't Ask Don't Tell", it makes me sick to my stomach.
    On Abortion, I have always thought a woman must have the right to choose, however lately I have started to think it really is an absurd, the right to choose should begin at the moment she is having sex with no protection, not when she has another innocent life inside of her, too late, now we would have to think about the choices of the child growing inside her.
    But I have to agree with Fiona on this one, even being against abortion, I am against young women dying in the hands of butchers in back alleys because Hospitals won't take them in for the atrocious procedure.
    So, as much as I am appalled and against abortion, just the word makes me fell sick, I think it should be legal and the people who decide to do it should be able to do it safely in a Hospital.
    The situation in Brazil is directly connected to the VATICAN and the Catholic Church, during the Military dictatorship years, the government wouldn't make any important decision or pass new laws before consulting with the Vatican officials in Brasilia.
    Abortion being still illegal in Brazil is a direct reflexion of the Catholic Church which is also by the way, against birth control of any type, ABSURD, ABSURD, ABSURD.
    I know many towns in Sao Paulo offer free birth control pills and condoms in community health care clinics. I am not aware of how it is in other parts of Brazil.
    There was a strong PRO ABORTION and PRO SEX EDUCATION movement in Brazil in the early 80's and then there was a big scandal when it was discovered that many doctors in Hospitals of the Northeast of Brazil who were supported by their local governments were practicing generalized "tying of women's tubes" so they wouldn't have any more children sometimes with the women's consent, many times without their consent, so one day they would just stop having children and wouldn't know why.
    When women came into the Hospitals to have children and it was detected they already had many children and were poor, the doctors would just tie the tubes or even worse, in some cases they just removed their entire reproductive systems after that last baby was born.
    The practice was discovered by local media and it became a huge scandal, people were saying the doctors were being prejudice against poor people and poor people deserved to have as many children as they wanted to...( I personally don't agree, I think you should have as many children as you can afford PERIOD).
    The Catholic Church and the Federal Government came crashing down on the practice and it became a big deal, the PRO ABORTION movement lost power after that and the country clearly had other political priorities at the time, such as controlling a rampant inflation and restoring democracy.
    I would never allow a child of mine to be aborted but I don't think abortion should be illegal either.


  8. Rachel,

    I totally agree with Ray on the politicians saying whatever to get elected, many say President Bush was all for Gay rights in private...and I think Dilma is lying too, she is just another politician eager to get power.
    I think we need to separate Brazil in South and North, because there is a huge difference between these 2 areas, completely different realities.
    In the wealthier South, it becomes a matter of choice, lifestyle, another child or not...
    In the North, it is a matter of complete ignorance, strong religious influence against sex education and the desperate need for education in general, principally sex and birth control.
    I also agree with Fiona and Ray when they say women risk their lives with alternative procedures when they don't have the choice to have an abortion with a doctor and so I am for legal abortion in Hospitals.
    I think Brazil should invest heavily in sexual education and birth control, parts of the Brazilian Northeast see high incidence of penile cancer, very common among the poor with complete lack of basic personal hygiene and no sexual education what so ever...
    After this period of investing in sexual education and birth control I think Brazil would be ready to legalize abortion.
    In other words, I am for abortion being legal after some form of investment in sexual education and birth control, yes, in Brazil's case it is conditional, why not?


  9. Really, penile cancer? It´s a really rare cancer! Wow. You know, if they did circumcisions it would virtually remove all chance of getting it.

    Singing to the choir. Dilma is also slaking on gay rights because of church/right pressure.

    Apparently she is going to put into effect more sex education but I`ll believe it when I see it.

    When I delivered at the public hospital, we had to take sex ed/child care classes. 3 two hour sessions. To say it was amazing what some women didn´t know would be an understatement.

    They did not know the basic reproductive functions of their own body. They did not know when a girl could start getting pregnant. One woman answered at 17 yrs old! There were two much younger teens there proving her wrong.