By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

  BRASILIA, Brazil, February 22, 2008 ( – The first Encounter of Pro-Life Legislators and Governors, which was held on Wednesday in Brazil, has resulted in a pro-life manifesto and a petition for the creation of a parliamentary committee to monitor the problem of clandestine abortions in Brazil.

  The meeting was organized by Brazil’s Parliamentary Front for Life, a nationwide organization of pro-life legislators, in response to a proposed law now making its way through the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies. Bill 1135/91 would legalize abortion completely, eliminating criminal penalties in the nation’s penal code.  It is now on the verge of leaving the Social Security and Family Committee for debate by the entire Chamber.

  Although the full text of the manifesto is not yet available, the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies press agency reports that it calls on the government to “make a great effort focused on maternity, placing all of the necessary aids at the disposal of pregnant women so that they can have a quality gestation from the medical point of view.”

  It also rejects the use of the “Morning After Pill”, one mechanism of which is to cause an abortion in the days following the sexual act, and defends the Direct Act of Unconstitutionality filed recently against a provincial law that allows the use of embryonic stem cells in medical research.

  The manifesto will be delivered to the nation’s Supreme Court, as well as to Brazilian President Luiz Lula and the presidents of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies.

  As LifeSiteNews reported earlier this week, the meeting included U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, who was scheduled to speak about human rights, abortion, and sex trafficking.

  Smith reportedly urged his listeners not to repeat the mistakes of the United States, which legalized abortion over 35 years ago with the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.  Smith told the group that in the decades following, almost 50 million children have died by legal abortion in the US.

  The Encounter, which was attended by 50 national deputies, one senator, and other state and local politicians, also gathered the first of 180 signatures of Brazilian deputies needed to create a committee to investigate the problem of clandestine abortions in the country.

  At the closing of the meeting, Deputy Luiz Bassuma of the socialist Worker’s Party “criticized the politicians who are on the fence regarding the legalization of abortion and called on them to take a position against or in favor,” according to the Chamber of Deputies press agency.

  She also noted that she has been persecuted within the Worker’s Party for her own pro-life stance.

  Previous coverage:

  The War Against Abortion: Brazilians Come Out Swinging at Massive Pro-Life Conference

  Brazilian Bishops Launch Major National Campaign Against Abortion, Euthanasia, and Embryonic Stem Cell Research

  Brazilian Government’s National Health Conference Rejects Abortion

  The War Continues: Brazil Catholic Bishops Take Pro-Life Battle to the United Nations, and International Foundations

  Parliamentary Front for Life Organizes International Pro-Life Meeting in Brazil