brasilia - A committee of the Brazilian Congress voted by eighteen to one for a legislative amendment for a total ban on abortion. The prohibition must also apply to cases of post-rape pregnancy, in situations in which a pregnant woman's life is at risk and in open-ended babies. These situations are still beyond the ban.
Strict abortion laws already apply in the predominantly Roman Catholic country. The committee, which consisted largely of members of confessional parties, was originally convened to discuss extension of maternity leave. The opposition came from the only female member in the commission, a member of the labor party.
The Christian parties, who have a majority in parliament, have repeatedly pleaded for stricter abortion laws in recent years.
Revision of the Abortion Act requires a two thirds majority in both rooms. Observers think that the introduction of this law may be exchanged with other parties' bills.
In Brazil, according to government figures, one million abortions are certainly carried out every year. For the most part, these are done in illegal clinics where the hygienic conditions are bad. Thousands of women therefore end up in the hospital.
MEP Pastor Eurico of the Christian Democratic Party PHS called defending the right to abortion 'satanic, malicious and destructive. '