Four Brazilian Supreme Court Justices ruled on Tuesday that abortion should not be a crime when performed in the first three months of pregnancy. The decision concerns a specific case, around employees of a clandestine abortion in Rio’s metropolitan area. It could, however, set a precedent for broader decisions on the issue.
For Justice Luís Roberto Barroso, the anti-abortion articles in the Criminal Code disrespect women’s basic rights. “Women bears alone the burden of pregnancy. Therefore, there will only exist gender equality if women have the right to decide whether to continue a pregnancy or not,” he wrote in his decision.
Besides, anti-abortion laws penalize poor women, who don’t have access to private clinics who secretly perform abortions. Barroso said that the state should avoid pregnancy interruptions – but with sexual education policies and the distribution of contraceptive methods.
Right now, Brazil’s Criminal Code states that a woman who performs an abortion could …