Four days after Pope Francis left Brazil, President Dilma Rousseff signed into a law a measure that opens the door to the distribution of abortion-causing drugs in the country’s public health care system, reports the Catholic News Agency.
Upon its publication in the government’s official journal, the August 1 law requires health care centres in Brazil to administer the morning-after pill to women who say they have been raped up to 72 hours after the crime.
The head of Brazil’s Special Secretariat for Women’s Policies, Eleonora Menicucci, an avid abortion proponent, defended Rousseff saying the decision to sign the law was out of 'respect for Congress and for women.'
The new norm, she said, will have 'a positive impact in preventing abortion in women who have been the victims of rape,' although she acknowledged that it allows for abortifacient 'emergency contraception.'
The law will also 'mitigate the harm caused to the victims of sexual violence,' Menicucci said.
At the end of July, more than 20 pro-life organisations in Latin America issued a statement calling on the Brazilian people 'not to be deceived and to do everything possible' to prevent the new law from being adopted. 'We have studied the measure and we can see in it the same strategy that is being used in all of our countries to promote widespread use of an abortifacient drug without a prescription,' the organisations warned.
FULL STORY Brazilian president signs law permitting abortion after Pope leaves (CNA)