The number of Brazilian women seeking abortions in Portugal increased by 18% in 2017 compared to 2016, according to a new report by the Ministry of Health of Portugal.
In 2017 447 Brazilians voluntarily terminated their pregnancy in the Luso health system, where abortion up to 10 weeks' gestation was decriminalized in 2007. In 2016, 379 Brazilians performed the procedure.
Statistics do not show whether these women were residents (Brazilians are the largest foreign community in Portugal) or tourists, but doctors and other health professionals say it is common for women to travel for the primary purpose of terminating a pregnancy.
The ease of language and cultural proximity make many Brazilians opt for Portugal, although abortion is also decriminalized in other countries in Europe and the United States.
Responsible for about one third of the abortions performed in Portugal, Clínica dos Arcos, a private hospital in Lisbon, confirms that there is a great demand for Brazilians traveling to Portugal for this purpose only.
Most people make first contact with the clinic through email or Facebook.
According to Portuguese law, foreign women - even in an irregular situation in the country - have the right to voluntarily interrupt the pregnancy in the public health service, without the need for any justification, until 10 weeks of gestation.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon