BRAZIL, January 31, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A majority of representatives in Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies, the nation’s lower legislative house, say that they are opposed to the decriminalization of abortion, according to a new poll published by the Brazilian news portal G1.
Asked, “Are you favorable to the decriminalization of abortion?” 267 deputies answered “no” and only 78 answered “yes.” Thirty-seven said that they favored it under certain conditions, and 32 said they did not know.
Of the legislators who answered the poll, 64% were against the decriminalization of abortion. However, 19% of legislators did not answer the poll, which consisted of thirteen questions on a variety of topics. The percentage of the entire Chamber expressly rejecting abortion was 52%.
The pro-life position of the Chamber of Deputies is in stark contrast to the official pro-abortion position of the ruling Labor Party, which endorses decriminalization and has even driven out members who refuse to adhere to the party’s position.
During the presidential election last year, Labor Party candidate Dilma Rousseff found her poll numbers slipping over the abortion issue, as well as the party’s drive to outlaw the criticism of homosexual behavior. Rousseff responded by signing a written pledge not to introduce such legislation, although she did not promise not to sign it if it crossed her desk.
The deputies also rejected two other policies dear to the political left: the criminalization of corporal punishment of children by parents, and the decriminalization of marijuana. Of the deputies that answered the poll, 207 were against criminalizing corporal punishment, and 140 in favor, while 298 were against the legalization of marijuana and only 63 in favor.
The pro-family leanings of the Chamber of Deputies is reflective of Brazilian society as a whole. While Brazilians tend to favor socialist political parties, they reject their socially liberal agenda by broad margins.
A recent poll, reported in December by LifeSiteNews, concluded that 72% of Brazilians were opposed to decriminalizing abortion, and 60% opposed homosexual “civil unions.”
Abortion is a crime in Brazil, and carries criminal penalties in all cases except for rape and danger to the life of the mother.