Insecurity Takes Hold of Doctors after Norm Restricting Abortion in Cases of Rape in Brazil

Resolution imposes limit of up to 22 weeks of gestation

São Paulo

Just over a month after the publication of the resolution by the CFM (Federal Council of Medicine) that restricts legal abortions for pregnancies over 22 weeks resulting from rape, public services have suspended services, generating a climate of fear and insecurity among medical teams.

According to professionals, the measure has brought dramatic consequences.

In Recife (Pernambuco), a teenager only managed to get the abortion provided by law after attempting suicide and ending up in the Intensive Care Unit. As cases of risk of the mother's death are not included in the CFM's norm, the medical team obtained a psychiatric opinion and performed the procedure.

In another case, a young woman from Brasília, at 22 weeks and one day of gestation, had her legal abortion denied and, with the help of a Brazilian NGO, Projeto Vivas, traveled to the city of Rosario, Argentina, to have the procedure done.

Although Brazilian law does not establish a gestational age limit for abortions provided by law (rape, risk to the mother's health, and cases of anencephaly), in practice, the CFM's resolution imposed this limit.

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