Reproductive rights

Brazilian bill would require rape victims to undergo forensic testing to get abortions

Brazilian women demonstrate in favor of abortion legalization in Rio de Janeiro on November 11, 2015. (CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images)

A proposed abortion bill in Brazil would force rape victims to undergo forensic testing by a state medical examiner and report the rape to authorities in order to qualify for an abortion. Abortion is currently illegal in the country except in cases of rape, when the mother’s life is in danger, and when the fetus has a medical condition in which its brain or skull does not develop fully. Under current law, women only need to obtain a note from their doctors to receive an abortion in the case of rape.

Sonia Onufer Correa, a women’s and reproductive rights advocate in Rio de Janeiro, told the GlobalPost that the new law assumes a woman is being dishonest and requires them to prove they have been raped rather than assuming they are being honest. She has been part of ongoing protests in Brazil over the proposed law. “From a reproductive rights perspective, this is at the center: Are women to be trusted or not?” Correa said.

The bill was proposed by an evangelical Christian and conservative radio host, Eduardo Cunha, who also proposed a “Straight Pride Day” in response to gay pride events and stands accused of taking $40 million in bribes from Brazilian oil companies. It carries with it the possibility of criminal charges and a prison sentence for women who don’t follow the new requirements to have an abortion.

Read the full story at the GlobalPost.

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