Why is September 28th the day to fight for the decriminalization and legalization of abortion? During the 5th Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Meeting (EFLAC), the movement assumes its active anti-racist position, uniting two struggles. In Brazil it was already written that from September 28, 1871 onwards, enslaved women would only give birth to free babies. It was the law of the free womb. From the meeting held in 1990, in San Bernardo (Argentina), the fight also began to be for the discrimination and legalization of abortion throughout Latin America.
We need to address the issue of abortion in Brazil now that the Minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), Rosa Weber, has decided to bring to light issues that are dear to many women, such as legal abortion. Once the right-wing invention of the time frame was defeated, in the early hours of September 22nd, she voted in favor. She say yes. And she added that “the ban on terminating pregnancy is unconstitutional, as it violates the human dignity of women”.
In fact, let’s take this opportunity to show the importance of having a woman on the STF, Lula, we hope that the next one will be a black woman.
:: STF decision could benefit black women, the main victims of the criminalization of abortion, says study ::
Are you in favor?
Talking about legalizing abortion sparks a lot of debate. Excellent. I always think that debate is life, it is red blood; however, it is good to be prepared so as not to fall into traps or be surprised by fake news.
Feminists in Argentina, as well as in Uruguay, fought hard − for years − until legalization was reached in December 2020. They said that we have to take into account that abortion exists, so you are in favor of abortion legal, or clandestine abortion?
:: Women take to the streets to legalize abortion so that Brazil can join the Latin American ‘green wave’ ::
What is the difference between decriminalizing and legalizing?
Decriminalization prevents anyone involved in the abortion process from being reported and arrested. We speak from the pregnant woman/person, to the person performing the abortion, nurse, attendant, if it is in a clinic.
Legalization implies the active involvement of the State, that is, not only preventing complaints, but helping in the process of voluntary termination of pregnancy.
IMPORTANT (although obvious): if the change in the law is approved, no woman will be forced to have an abortion, but everyone will be able to choose. Anyone who has never thought about having an abortion will not be forced to.
:: Criminalization of abortion puts the health and lives of women in the country at risk, experts highlight ::
Today in Brazil, abortion is legal in three situations: pregnancy resulting from rape, risk to the life of the pregnant woman and anencephaly of the fetus. In all three cases, the abortion procedure must be offered free of charge by the Unified Health System (SUS).
Have you ever thought if, in addition to these three cases, there were all the times that women and pregnant people so desired? We talk about pregnant people understanding that non-binary people and trans men also have a uterus, as a result, there is the possibility of getting pregnant.
Now that the Rose has opened and the perfume has arrived, shall we get together, celebrate, organize ourselves? As happened in Argentina, it became law once the debate took place in every home and in every bar and at every table and in every corner of the country.
:: Abortion, time frame and other topics: what happens when the STF and Congress disagree? ::
We will have green scarves
The scarf – pañuelo – is a symbol of the fight for the legalization of abortion. It comes from the Argentine companions who continue the representation that started the Madres de Plaza de Mayo and added green, the color of hope. Come along and bring poetry, doubts, hugs, love of fighting and a lot of anger to change this world.
Let’s raise our fist and say among all: sexual education to discover, contraceptives to take advantage of and legal abortion to not die.
* Mariam Pessah is a feminist ARTivist, writer and poet, author of My Last Poem, 2023; Soon everything will fall apart, 2022; organizer of Sarau das Minas/Porto Alegre since 2017 and coordinator of the Feminist Writing and Listening Workshop.
** This is an opinion article and does not necessarily express the editorial line of the Brasil de Fato newspaper.
Editing: Vivian Virissimo