It did not even take a month for Lula’s government to start attacking initiatives in defense of pregnant women and conceived lives. True to the goal of legalizing abortion in the country and knowing that Brazilian society repudiates the practice, and that the National Congress would be unlikely to pass legislation to that effect, Lula’s ministers are well on their way to undo anything that could pose an obstacle to free abortion under any circumstances.
In recent days, the government led by socialist Lula da Silva, composed of left-wing political formations and supported by a section of the judiciary justices, decided to immediately give the first sign of ‘change’ in the government, compared to the previous executive led by Christian conservative Jair Bolsonaro. Well, in just a few days, Lula and his ministers took steps to withdraw Brazil from the Geneva Consensus Declaration and abolished restrictive regulations against abortion from rape and violence, two decisions that characterized the Bolsonaro government. The Ministries of Human Rights and Citizenship (MDHC), Women’s Affairs, Health and Foreign Affairs announced their decision to disassociate themselves from the Geneva Consensus Declaration in an official joint note because, they said, “this document contains a limited understanding of sexual and reproductive rights and the concept of family.” Instead, the memo continues, the Lula executive wants “…to promote the effective and complete guarantee of women’s health [Editor’s note: abortion]… as well as full respect for the different family configurations [Editor’s note: LGBTI unions/marriages].”
By mid-January it was Health Minister Nísia Trindade who repealed the Bolsonaro government’s ordinance in which health services’ obligations to the police were established in cases of rape and violence. A choice that will make it more difficult to investigate perpetrators and easier instead to perform abortions in cases not allowed by law, with false accusations of rape. One of the next targets to be attacked should be the ‘Health Guide’ for doctors that defines that abortion in cases under the law should be done until the 21st week of pregnancy, since after the beginning of the 22nd week there is already the possibility of viability outside the womb. Then, presumably, we will see the legalization of tele-abortion and the mandatory sale of abortion pills in pharmacies, as recently endorsed by Biden. By the way, will Biden and Lula also talk about this at their February 10 meeting in Washington?