Reproductive Justice

20 de April, 2023

Legal abortion services in Brazil – a national study (Serviços de aborto legal no Brasil – um estudo nacional), 2016.

This article describes the results of a mixed-methods study of legal abortion services in Brazil. In total, 68 services were analyzed in two stages. The first stage was a census, in which all the institutions were sent an electronic questionnaire about the organization of the legal abortion services. The second stage was conducted in a sample of 5 healthcare services, one for each region of the country. In this stage, a form was used to collect data on women and the abortions in the medical records, and 82 interviews with health professionals were conducted. Thirty-seven of the services informed they performed legal abortions, and the services were inactive in 7 states. Police reports, forensic reports, and court orders were required by 14%, 8% and 8% of the services, respectively. Women who underwent abortions were predominantly aged 15-29, single, and Catholic. The abortions of rape-related pregnancies were performed up to 14 weeks by means of manual vacuum aspiration. According to the health professionals, the main difficulties faced in the services are the limited availability of physicians to perform abortions and the insufficient training of the staff. The data show a discrepancy between the legal provision and the reality of the services. It is necessary to implement more services and strengthen the existing ones.

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