By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

BRASILIA, October 15, 2010 ( – Besieged over the her past support for abortion and homosexuality, and slipping in the polls, Brazilian presidential frontrunner Dilma Rousseff has signed a public statement claiming to be “personally against abortion,” and pledging not to “take the initiative to propose alterations of points that have to do with abortion legislation and other topics concerning the family and the free expression of any religion in the country.”

The statement comes after Rousseff unexpectedly lost the first round of voting in the presidential election, a defeat widely attributed to her party’s pro-abortion and homosexualist activism, which includes measures to decriminalize abortion and prohibit statements condemning homosexual behavior as “discriminatory.”

Following a massive internet campaign by Evangelical Protestants and Catholics against Rousseff and her Labor Party, Rousseff finds herself unexpectedly facing a runoff against Social Democrat José Serra, and her lead has dropped from 13% to only five percent.

Although Rousseff’s signed pledge may placate some, its carefully nuanced wording is likely to raise even more questions. Her statement does not promise to oppose pro-abortion and anti-family measures, confining itself to an assurance that Rousseff will not propose such changes herself.

However, the fact that Rousseff has been forced to buck her own party and sign the pledge is an indication of the strength of pro-life and pro-family sentiment in Brazil. Recent polls have indicated a large and growing majority of over 70% against any changes to existing legislation regarding abortion, which withholds criminal penalties only in rape cases and danger to the life of the mother.

Previous LifeSiteNews coverage:

Pro-Abort Frontrunner for Brazilian Presidency Fights Rising Tide of Pro-Life Sentiment

YouTube Censors Pro-Life Sermon Seen by Millions of Brazilians

Brazilian Government Threatens Catholic Church over Opposition to Pro-Abort Presidential Candidate

Brazilian Presidential Front Runner Declares Herself ‘Personally Against’ Abortion