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Brazilian Police Infringe on Women’s Privacy while Investigating Abortions

Last week Brazilian police continued to investigate over 1,000 women suspected of having abortions, which are illegal in Brazil. According to BBC News, 150 women have already been charged and 30 sentenced to community service in connection to a family planning clinic in Campo Grande, a southwestern city. The clinic, which closed in 2007, operated for over 20 years before it came to the attention of Brazilian authorities.

According to BBC News, in the course of the investigation, women’s private medical records were available to the general public and many womens’ husbands and boyfriends were interviewed. In some cases, the investigations included “intimate” medical examinations.

According to the Agence France-Presse, the prosecutor in these cases, Paulo Cesar dos Passos said that in addition to the women being charged, “We are also processing their lovers and husbands who paid, accepted, or encouraged the procedure.” At this point, the names of close to 10,000 Brazilian women have been made public in this investigation.

Sources:

AFP 11/19/2008, BBC News 11/21/2008

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