March Round Up – Abortion

Abortion laws in spotlight in Timor-Leste
A call for more lenient abortion legislation in this predominantly Catholic country is renewing friction between the Church and pro-abortion activists. A working group convened by Fokupers (“Communication Forum for Women from the East”), a local NGO supported by others such as the Alola Foundation [see: http://alolafoundation.org/%5D, has been pushing for a softening of abortion laws. Continues at http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/IRIN/22110dadec51dcea9ed82c1291cee362.htm

Amid Abuse in Brazil, Abortion Debate Flares
While much of Brazil has been riled by the case of a 9-year-old girl who aborted twins this month after claiming her stepfather raped her, her ordeal was an all too familiar one at the clinic. The girl’s story of rape and pregnancy at such a young age seemingly caught the nation off guard, reviving a tense debate over reproductive rights in a country with more Catholics than any other. But doctors, clinic workers and other experts say her case is symptomatic of a widespread problem of sexual abuse of under-age girls — one that has long been neglected and may be getting worse. Continues at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/28/world/americas/28brazil.html?_r=1&ref=world&pagewanted=all

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