Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research

Brazilians Want to Keep Abortion as Crime

April 12, 2007

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - About two-thirds of Brazilians would reject a change in the South American country's pregnancy termination guidelines, according to a poll by Datafolha published in Folha de Sao Paulo. 65 per cent of respondents say the current legislation that criminalizes abortion should not be changed.

On the other hand, 16 per cent of respondents would support a change allowing abortion in more cases, and 10 per cent believe the procedure should be decriminalized altogether.

Brazil's penal code has typified abortion as a crime since 1940. The procedure is only permitted when a pregnancy is the result of a rape, or when the woman's life is endangered.

Earlier this month, Brazilian health minister Jose Gomes Temporao voiced support for a referendum in order to amend existing abortion guidelines. Gomes Temporao said he considers abortion as a "matter of public health" rather than a "religious debate." The minister stated that close to 200,000 Brazilian women have to seek medical treatment following unlawful abortions every year, adding, "From the public health standpoint, I am in favour of legalization."

Polling Data

What is your opinion on abortion?

Mar. 2007

Aug. 2006

The current law should not be modified

65%

63%

The current law should be altered to
allow abortion in other cases

16%

17%

Abortion should be decriminalized

10%

11%

Not sure

5%

9%

Source: Datafolha / Folha de Sao Paulo
Methodology: Interviews with 5,700 Brazilian adults, conducted on Mar. 19 and Mar. 20, 2007. Margin of error is 2 per cent.

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