Brazil, one of the world’s most populous nations, also has some of the world’s most regressive abortion laws. Abortion is illegal under almost all circumstances, with a few exceptions—where a woman’s life is at risk, the pregnancy is a result of rape, or if the fetus has anencephaly (a congenital birth defect).
As a result, illegal abortions are widespread. In 2015, Human Rights Watch estimated that half a million abortions took place that year. A woman needing abortion care in Brazil will almost certainly be forced to undergo an dangerous and potentially life-threatening procedure (69 women died as a result of unsafe abortions in 2015).
Now a group of male evangelical Christian politicians are looking to roll back what scarce abortion rights Brazilian women do have. Last week, 18 members of a congressional committee voted to ban abortion in all circumstances, including cases of rape and where a mother’s life …