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Reproductive Rights Reform, Greater Access to Care Needed

Earlier this month, a 10-year-old-girl in Espírito Santo State, Brazil, discovered she was pregnant after 4 years of repeated rape by her uncle, who threatened her to keep quiet. The girl, who lives with her extended family, wanted to end the…
Pro-choice demonstrators at a protest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 8, 2018. © 2018 AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo
News
“There is real risk in the spread of information, which can put the lives of girls at risk,” said Brazil's Minister of Women, Family, and Human Rights, Damares Alves, in an opinion article published on October 2. The “dangerous information” she…
Damares Alves, Brazil's Human Rights Minister
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Bolsonaro Government Should Protect Reproductive Rights

Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão publicly supported a woman’s right to decide to have an abortion in an interview published today in O Globo. Mourão raised the issue of abortion after being asked a question about…
Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão publicly supported a woman’s right to decide to have an abortion
News
Activists around the world will mark the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion on September 28. Like several other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Brazil is in the midst of a vigorous public debate…
Activists demonstrate in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on July 19, 2018 in favor of abortion legalization.
News

Court Considering Petition to Expand Access

(São Paulo) – Brazil’s abortion laws are incompatible with its human rights obligations, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a video about the issue. Human Rights Watch will speak at a public hearing on August 3 and 6, 2018, as part of a…
Activists demonstrate in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on July 19, 2018 in favor of abortion legalization.
News

Court Case Challenges Strict Laws

Ingriane Barbosa Carvalho, a mother of three in her early 30s, died two months ago in Brazil. The medical examiner’s report states that she died of complications from an unsafe abortion, and the story made headlines last week when the…
Activists demonstrate in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on July 19, 2018 in favor of abortion legalization.
News

Nepal Was Far Ahead of Its Neighbors in Protecting Reproductive Rights

I am the daughter of a formidable campaigner for women’s reproductive rights in Nepal. Decades ago, when such issues were not part of the playbook for development activists, my mother, a medical doctor, started setting up family…
Women activists lie down on the road during a protest demanding women’s rights in the constitution in Kathmandu, Nepal, August 7, 2015.
News

‘Yes’ Vote Ends 35 Years of Shame and Secrecy for Irish Women and Girls

The first vote I ever cast was in one of the six referendums that Ireland has had on abortion. Today, I watched with tears of joy as it became clear that two-thirds of Irish people voted to repeal the 35-year constitutional ban on…
Women celebrate the result of yesterday's referendum on liberalizing abortion law, in Dublin, Ireland, May 26, 2018.
News

Women Were Incorrectly Cleared as Cancer-Free

Cervical cancer need not be a death sentence. Between vaccination, routine screening, timely follow up, and early detection, cervical cancer is preventable and highly curable. When a woman dies from cervical cancer, something went wrong. For at least 17…
Vicky Phelan speaks on the Ray D'Arcy Show. Phelan was first diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014, although a screening test from 2011 should have found strong indications of the presence of cancer.
News

Supreme Court Ruling a Victory for Law Reform in Brazil

The word “victory” is rarely uttered alongside the word “prisons” in Brazil, where even pre-trial detainees are routinely held in overcrowded, unsanitary and violent cells. But this week, Brazil´s Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling…
Painted fingernails of an inmate in the Women's Prison of Brasilia, Brazil, August 3, 2011.
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Constitutional Amendment Would Endanger Women, Girls; Violate Rights

(São Paulo) – Brazilian lawmakers should reject a dangerous constitutional amendment that would prohibit abortion in all circumstances, Human Rights Watch said today. The proposed amendment would ban abortion even for pregnancies resulting from…
People participate in the SlutWalk protest on Copacabana Beach, here pope Francis will celebrate mass at night, in Rio de Janeiro, July, 2013. The sign reads "No more criminalization of women, abortion is a right". ©  REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
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Last week, Rebeca Mendes Silva Leite, a 30-year-old woman from São Paulo, Brazil, asked Brazil’s Supreme Court for permission to safely and legally terminate an unplanned pregnancy she does not want to continue. No woman…
People participate in the SlutWalk protest on Copacabana Beach, here pope Francis will celebrate mass at night, in Rio de Janeiro, July, 2013. The sign reads "No more criminalization of women, abortion is a right". ©  REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
News

Brazilians March Against Proposed Amendment

Erika Kokay was the only member in a special committee of Brazil’s congress to vote against a constitutional amendment last week banning abortion under all circumstances. Eighteen fellow deputies, all men, voted in favor. They…
Protesters demonstrate against Brazil's congressional move to criminalize all cases of abortion, including cases of rape and where the mother's life is in danger, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil November 13, 2017.
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New Law Would Ban Abortion in Cases of Rape, Health Risk

Hundreds of women have died in Brazil from unsafe abortion in recent years. Yet on Wednesday evening, 18 members of a committee in Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies – all men – voted in favor of a dangerous new constitutional amendment that…
People participate in the SlutWalk protest on Copacabana Beach, here pope Francis will celebrate mass at night, in Rio de Janeiro, July, 2013. The sign reads "No more criminalization of women, abortion is a right". ©  REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
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Susana, 25, was breastfeeding when she became pregnant with a second child in Recife. It was unplanned. Her son was born with microcephaly–a condition in which the infant’s head is smaller than expected.   She was among the nearly 100…
News
I met “Mariana,” a 20-year-old woman in Paraíba state, almost a year ago in the waiting area of a public hospital. I was investigating access to reproductive health services for women and girls in northeastern Brazil, and Mariana was one of my first…
Report
Summary On a Friday afternoon in October 2015, Luciana Caroline Albuquerque Bezerra, the executive secretary of health surveillance for the state of Pernambuco, Brazil, received a call from her boss, the secretary of health for the state. Two…
News

Amicus Briefs Cite Violations of Women’s Rights

(Sao Paulo) – Criminalization of abortion is incompatible with Brazil’s human rights obligations, Human Rights Watch said today in filing amicus briefs in two cases before the Federal Supreme Court. Human Rights Watch said that the…
A health agent carries a bucket of guppy fish to place them in standing water to consume larva of Zika-transmitting mosquitoes in an empty lot of Rio de Janeiro's Tijuca neighborhood, Brazil, February 17, 2016.