Abortion in Brazil

The induced abortion in Brazil or abortion in Brazil , is legal under the Penal Code Brazilian force since December 2016 , for the first three months of pregnancy .name = AbortionPoliciesONU> UN. Abortion policies: Afghanistan to France, Volume 1, Volume 2001, United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs.Population Division, ISBN 92-1-151351-0, 2001, p. 69 </ ref>

Legal Induced Abusement Assumptions

The induced abortion is considered legal, according to the Brazilian penal code of 1940, in the following cases:

  • If pregnancy puts the woman’s life at serious risk.
  • If pregnancy result of rape or statutory rape .

Penalties for illegal abortion

If a woman makes or gives consent for the practice of induced abortion , when the established assumptions do not occur, she can be imprisoned between 1 and 3 years. If the abortion causes any harm to the woman the penalty is higher. If abortion causes the woman’s death, the penalty is double for anyone who practices or induces. The legislation on abortion is found in the Brazilian Penal Code, Title I (Crimes against the person), chapter I, article 124 (Crimes against life). 1

A recent development was an order by the Ministry of Health, stating that only one allegation of a police violation is sufficient to allow the public health system to perform such abortions. This measure has been met by strong opposition from pro-life groups .

Number of abortions, maternal deaths and percentage by age

Despite its prohibition and penalty, induced abortion (whether as an abortion with medication or as a surgical abortion ) is still practiced illegally in Brazil . The Brazilian Ministry of Health estimates that in Brazil between 729,000 and 1,250,000 abortions are induced per year in the interior of the country. Although this estimate is very speculative, since abortions are illegal, there is a strong disagreement with other non-governmental sources, which estimate the number between 500,000 and 800,000 abortions annually.

According to Professor Ruy Laurenti , Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo , from 1996 until today the number of maternal deaths related to abortion are: in 1996, 87 deaths; In 1997, 105 deaths; In 1998, 69 deaths; In 1999, 84 deaths; In 2000, 80 deaths; In 2001, 87 deaths; In 2002, 70 deaths; And in 2003, 84 deaths of pregnant women who were subjected to an illegal abortion under clearly poor health conditions. About a fifth of women who had abortions induced illegally sought hospital care to correct damage to the woman’s body, either by inserting objects into the vagina to kill the fetus, misuse of abortion With medication or incomplete expulsion. 2

Among females aged 18 and 19, 1 in 10 had an abortion. Of every 100 women aged 18 to 39 years, 15% have had an abortion, and every 100 women between the ages of 35 and 39 have had an abortion, 20% -1 of every 15. The area with the highest number of abortions is The northeast of Brasial and the smaller the south. 3

Abortion with medication

Main article: Abortion with drugs

The procedicimiento most commonly used is the medical abortion using misoprostol ( Cytotec ) compared to surgical abortion . 4

Average profile of aborting woman

The woman who performs an abortion has an average age between 20 and 29 years and is predominantly Catholic , 4 followed in number by Protestant and Evangelical women , 5 has studied an average of 8 years, 4 has a stable union (70%) 4 And has a child on average. 4

Confrontation between government and Catholic church

Case of excommunication for abortion in a 9-year-old girl

In March 2009 there was a confrontation between the Brazilian government and the Catholic Church as Brazilian Archbishop José Cardoso Sobrinho made use of excommunication in a prominent case of induced abortion which was reproached by the Brazilian Minister of Health. 6

A 9-year-old girl became pregnant with twins after abuse and rape by her stepfather . The possibility of practicing induced abortion was legal since it had occurred due to rape. The induced abortion was performed by qualified physicians in the city of Recife on March 4, 2009 after warning also that the girl could have died if her pregnancy with twins continued.

Brazilian Archbishop José Cardoso Sobrinho announced the excommunication of both the mother of the girl and the doctors who performed the abortion – the Canonical Code prescribes automatic excommunication – latae sententiae – without a declaration, for anyone who practices or seeks a Abortion. 7 8

Public opinion

A survey conducted in March 2007 by Datafolha / Folha de S. Paulo found that 65% of Brazilians believe that the current law of their country “should not be modified,” a 16% that should be expanded “to allow abortion in others Cases “, 10% that abortion should” decriminalize “and 5%” were not sure. ” Referring to Fig.


  1. Back to top↑ Brazilian Penal Code: Abortion provoked by the pregnant woman or with her consent. Art. 124 – Providing abortion in itself or allowing others to cause it: Penalty – detention, from 1 (one) to 3 (three) years. Abortion provoked by a third party. Art. 125 – Provide abortion, without the consent of the pregnant woman: Penalty – imprisonment, from 3 (three) to 10 (ten) years. Art. 128 – Do not punish abortion practiced by a doctor: Necessary abortion. I – if there is no other way to save the life of the pregnant woman; Abortion in case of pregnancy resulting from rape. II – if the pregnancy results from rape and the abortion is preceded by consent of the pregnant woman or, when incapacitated, her legal representative.
  2. Back to top↑ Abortion kills 250 women per year in Brazil, acessodata = 05/21/2010
  3. Back to top↑ Between 35 and 39 years, out of every five Brazilians, one already had abortion, acessodata = 05/22/2010
  4. ↑ Jump to:a b c d e Abortion no Brasil, Agência Brasil, 16/05/2010
  5. Back to top↑ Major study on abortion in Brazil has scientific endorsement, Portal Vermelho, acessodata = 05/26/2010
  6. Back to top↑ The abortion of a raped girl confronts the State with the Catholic Church in Brazil, 5/3/2009, El País
  7. Back to top↑ Brazil attacks church opposition to girl’s abortion Stuart Grudgings, Reuters
  8. Back to top↑ Canon 1398 Code of Canon Law
  9. Back to top↑ ” Brazilians Want to Keep Abortion as Crime .” (12 April 2007). Angus Reid Global Monitor . Accessed June 20, 2007.