Black women are 46% more likely to have an abortion, at all ages, compared to white women, according to a study by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) in partnership with other bodies.
The number means that for every 10 white women who have an abortion, there will be approximately 15 black women.
The survey also indicates that, upon reaching 40 years of age:
- one in five black women will have had at least one abortion;
- among white women, it will be one in seven.
“There are racial inequalities in all editions of the PNA [Pesquisa Nacional de Aborto]. It is always black women who have the most abortions. Black women are always the most vulnerable to abortion and, consequently, to unsafe abortion”, reflects researcher Emanuelle Góes, one of the authors of the study.
The research was carried out with a sample of women aged 18 to 39, generated from data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).
The survey used the technique of data collection using a ballot box, in which the interviewee fills out a form with sensitive questions and deposits it in a closed container.
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The analysis was also based on the National Abortion Survey (PNA), carried out in 2016, 2019 and 2021, and released on Tuesday (26).
The surveys from 2016 and 2021 cover all of urban Brazil; The 2019 data only has data from the urban area of the Northeast region.
It was not possible to say much about indigenous and yellow (Asian) women, because, according to Fiocruz, the number of these women in the samples is not large. Most of the results of comparisons that include them are vulnerable to purely statistical fluctuations.
The research was published in Abrasco’s Ciência e Saúde Coletiva magazine, co-authored by Góes, from Fiocruz Bahia, and researchers from the University of Brasília (UnB) and Columbia University, in the United States.
Decriminalization of abortion
Last Friday (22), the president of the Federal Supreme Court, Rosa Weber, voted to decriminalize abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy.
The vote of the minister, who will retire this week, says that abortion is a public and reproductive health issue for women. The issue will still be discussed again in the physical plenary session of the STF.
Currently, abortion is only permitted in Brazil under three conditions:
- in case of rape,
- risk to the pregnant woman’s life,
- and anencephalic fetuses.
Fiocruz says it believes that criminalization prevents women from accessing public and private health services to have an abortion.
As a result, women use unsafe abortion methods, exposing themselves to unnecessary risks.
Criminalization, according to the foundation, would also prevent debate that could help prevent abortion.
“The fundamental problem is that abortion is treated as a crime. Criminalization restricts women’s access to the healthcare system before abortion, as it is not available, and after abortion, for fear of accusations and reprisals”, say the study authors.
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Source: CNN Brasil
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