SÃO PAULO, January 7, 2011 ( – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff won the nation’s presidential election in October of last year after assuring skeptical voters that she is pro-life, despite her record of endorsing the legalization of abortion.  However, her newly-appointed Minister for Women’s Policies has a different point of view.

Iriny Lopes, who previously served as a representative in Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies, recently told Brazilian journalist that “I don’t see how to require someone to have a child that she doesn’t feel able to have.”

“No one defends abortion,” she added. “We are talking about respecting a decision that, individually, a woman ultimately makes.”

Although Lopes’ acknowledged that President Rousseff has made a promise not to initiate pro-abortion legislation, she added that “the debate is with the Congress,” hinting that such legislation might ultimately be accepted by the administration.

After watching her poll numbers fall due to her pro-abortion and homosexualist positions during the presidential election, Rousseff told voters: “In my conception, I am favorable to the valuing of life, and I am personally against abortion, which is violence against women.”  She also issued a public pledge not to initiate any pro-abortion legislation, nor legislation that would restrict freedom of speech in relation to homosexual issues.

However, pro-life and pro-family organizations received Rousseff’s statements with skepticism. She had previously endorsed the decriminalization of abortion in explicit terms, and the Labor Party, of which she is a member, has fought vigorously for the same cause.  Rousseff’s pledge not to initiate pro-abortion legislation did not explicitly obligate her to veto such legislation if it is passed by the National Congress.