Smashing Defeat for Pro-Abortion Forces in Brazil
Legislative committee defeats abortion decriminalization in unanimous vote
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
BRASILIA, May 8, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a stunning victory for the pro-life movement in Latin America, the Social Security and Family Committee of Brazil's Chamber of Deputies (the lower legislative house) unanimously rejected an abortion decriminalization law that pro-abortion forces have fought for since 1991.
The two pro-abortion deputies on the committee left in protest without voting, leaving the remaining deputies to reject the legislation 33-0.
The committee members embraced each other in tears while pro-abortion forces in the audience yelled epithets at them and against the Catholic Church, which this year initiated an intense campaign to protect the right to life.
The campaign, along with major efforts by Evangelical Protestants, has resulted in a dramatic increase in pro-life sentiment in Brazil. A recent poll found that 68% of Brazilians now oppose further decriminalization of abortion, up from 63% last year.
The legislation, which is known as Bill 1135/91, will next be considered by the Chamber of Deputies' Constitution and Justice Committee, which is also expected to reject it. The text eliminates criminal penalties for abortion. Other bills to decriminalize abortion are also making their way through the National Congress.
The vote represented a smashing defeat for pro-abortion forces in Brazil, and in particular for President Luiz Lula's Minister of Health, José Gomes Temporão. Temporão has sought to divert attention from the issue of the human rights of the fetus by recasting the debate as an issue of "public health" due to the dangers he alleges are associated with illegal abortions.
Apparently sensing his inevitable defeat, Temporão did not testify before the committee and instead sent representatives. He used diplomatic language to denounce the ruling, claiming that the current legal approach to abortion was unrealistic and would result in "failure".
Related LifeSiteNews.com Coverage:
Brazilian Judge Rules Abortion Law Unconstitutional
Catholic Diocese Shows Horrors of Abortions to Faithful, Displays Fetal Models in Parishes
The Pro-Life Pentecost in Brazil, and what it Means for the Rest of the World
Brazilian Bishops Launch Major National Campaign Against Abortion, Euthanasia, and Embryonic Stem Cell Research
The War Continues: Brazil Catholic Bishops Take Pro-Life Battle to the United Nations, and International Foundations
Brazil Bishop: Excommunication for those who Use or Distribute Morning After Pill
Divulgation: Last Days Watchman