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On Brazil's Pro-Life Doctrine

Updated: Jun 26

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In June 2022, the government of the Federative Republic of Brazil (Brazil) released a statement clarifying its pro-life position concerning fetuses, mothers, and "the strengthening of the family." The statement lists governmental bodies, decrees, and programs that the federative government has created since 2019 toward "defend[ing] life from its conception," such as the Ministry of Women, Family, and Human Rights; the National Secretariat for the Family; and Decree No. 10,531, of October 26, 2020, "promoting the right to life, . . . observing the rights of the unborn child, through policies of responsible parenthood, family planning and care for pregnant women."


The government's statement seems to have covered, or at least addressed, the issue of women's safety. The document mentioned the government's creation of the National Plan for the Prevention of Early Sexual Risk and Adolescent Pregnancy as well as the creation of a domestic violence-prevention program PROMULHER. However, the article does not indicate the efficacy of such programs. Also, the government's focus on "strengthen[ing] family ties and intergenerational solidarity" seems to expand the issue of childbearing beyond the roles of just mothers and suggests that other family members contribute significant roles in the upbringing of children. The timing of this press release aligns with the United States (US) Supreme Court ruling concerning Roe v. Wade, a high-profile abortion-related case.

How It Relates to Global Security

After the June 2022 US Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade, the North American nation experienced widespread protests, demonstrations, riots, violence, and damage to property. Though other less-documented demonstrations occurred elsewhere in the world, whichever formal stance that any government announces on the subject of pregnancy-abortions can potentially inspire rioting, acts of violence, or other forms of disruptive protesting. Also, the extent to which disruptive demonstrations manifest in any nation or region may be determined by the extent to which interested parties (such as political leaders) may incite such behavior to their benefit. It is not known the extent to which any threat actors may be interested in inspiring such events in Brazil, whereas the US and parts of Europe seem to feature the greatest amount of abortion-related rioting.

How It Relates to Civil Society

Civil Society, as OSIRIS understands it, consists of an "intricate web" of, in part, a certain community's "time-tested mores and social behavior" that help "reinforce a limited and non-abusive governmental infrastructure." The contemporary polarizing dialogue in the US and other Western societies concerning pregnancy-abortion seems to be determinative of whether an advocate for "full abortion rights" is willing to slaughter millions of babies who cannot defend themselves or whether an advocate for limited abortions is misogynistic and willing to enslave women. The Brazilian government's announced stance may be predicated upon underlying cultural presuppositions in the nation--that fetuses are human beings endowed with the right to life, that their mothers are endowed with the right to be supported, and that the role of childbearing and the role of family members in children's lives are not issues irrelevant to each other but are instead contingent upon each other and inseparable.

How It Relates to Individual Sovereignty

According to the press release, it seems that the Brazilian government's philosophy presupposes that human life begins at conception, that human life deserves to be defended at any stage of his or her existence (including the gestation stage), and that a whole continuum of family members and generations of family members contribute to the "promotion of [a single] life." Many mothers in the US may not feel that such a belief system supports their own individual sovereignty, but it seems that the Brazilian government maintains that the gestation process consists of not one (the mother's) but two (the mother's and the developing child's) individual lives.


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