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By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

  BRASILIA, November 20, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) -The Brazilian National Health Conference, an arm of the pro-abortion Ministry of Health of the socialist Lula regime, has made headlines across the nation by roundly rejecting the legalization of abortion.

“The Ministry of Health was defeated”, summed up the Globe, a nationally recognized newspaper, which attributed the event to the superior organization of Catholic delegates to the conference.

  According to Francisco Batista Junior, president of the National Health Council, at least 70% of the participants voted against the proposal, even after it had been watered down with vague language.  The word “abortion” had been removed from the original text, and replaced with the term “reproductive rights”, a phrase often used by the abortion lobby to refer to the availability of abortion.

  The text of the resolution read: “Ensure sexual and reproductive rights, respect the autonomy of women regarding their bodies, recognizing it as a public health issue and debate its decriminalization by means of legislation.”

  The rejection of the pro-abortion amendment is seen as a particularly significant setback for pro-abortion forces because the National Health Conference had recommended the decriminalization of abortion eight years ago in December of 2000.  The decision may reflect the recent surge in awareness about the possibility of legalizing abortion, which has spurred a growing national pro-life movement that has the support of 60% of the Brazilian population.

  Adson Franca of the National Alliance for the Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Health, expressed his disappointment. “The rejection was very surprising because the proposal passed in more than eight plenary sessions, with more than 300 delegates in each one,” he said.

  Franca later made it clear that the Ministry of Health would continue to promote the legalization of abortion despite the vote. “The force of religious thinking is very great and, paradoxically, does not perceive that penalizing doesn’t help society,” he said. “We believe that the central question is to decide if a woman should be a prisoner or not.”

  Clovis Boufleur, from the Pastoral Institute for Children, had a different perspective on the vote.  He called it a “victory for society”.

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