Commend Brazil on Protecting Rape Victims

President Dilma Rousseff

Target: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff

Goal: Applaud recent signing of law that guarantees medical treatment for rape victims in public hospitals in Brazil

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff recently signed a law that guarantees emergency contraception and other treatment procedures for rape victims in public hospitals. The strong religious conservative political forces in Brazil have strongly opposed the legislation, believing that it will lead to the decriminalization of abortion, which is only deemed legal in Brazil in very exceptional circumstances. Abortion is only allowed when the mother’s life is at risk, when three doctors confirm the fetus to be anencephalic, or when the pregnancy is the result of rape.

The law does not modify the country’s laws on abortion, but it does introduce regulations for already authorized procedures for multi-disciplinary care in the public healthcare system for victims of sexual violence. Under the new law, when a victim of sexual violence and rape goes to a public hospital, the staff must follow specific protocols. The law effectively establishes compulsory care for all cases of sexual violence, a huge milestone for the nation that otherwise has very conservative laws when it comes to reproductive justice.

Progress like this has met resistance in state public prosecutors’ offices, which sometimes even seized records to ensure that abortions carried out in public hospitals fell under the limits of the law. However, the new federal law will ensure that health professionals can do their jobs without being bogged down by efforts to limit access to reproductive rights. This law guarantees rights to women who suffer sexual violence, and it is a step in the right direction for advancing reproductive justice in Brazil. Sign the petition below to show your support for the new law and to encourage more progress for the nation.


Dear President Dilma Rousseff,

The recently signed law that guarantees medical treatment for sexual violence victims in public hospitals in Brazil is a huge milestone for Brazil. This law will ensure protections and treatment for rape victims and allow health professionals to their jobs, putting an end to systematic attempts to limit the reproductive rights of women.

By implementing legal requirements for these protocols — including emergency contraception — access to healthcare for survivors of sexual violence will significantly increase under this law. I applaud your decision to sign the legislation into law and help move Brazil forward.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Felipe Menegaz via WikiMedia Commons

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68 Signatures

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