Lula says the 'Child Pregnancy Bill' is 'insane'

The text is being processed on an urgent basis in the Chamber of Deputies and has sparked protests in several cities

Translated by: Ana Paula Rocha

Brasil de Fato | São Paulo |
The Brazilian president talked to the press after a meeting with Italian PM Georgia Meloni, hostess of this year’s G7 Summit - Ricardo Stuckert / PR

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Workers’ Party) was asked about the bill that equates legal abortion to homicide in Brazil. He said that punishing a woman who was raped with a sentence longer than that of the abuser is “insane”.

Being processed on an urgent basis by the Chamber of Deputies last Wednesday (12), the bill was dubbed the 'Child Pregnancy Bill'. It proposes to apply homicide sentences to women interrupting pregnancies after 22 weeks of gestation, even in cases already guaranteed by law.

If approved, the sentence for abortion cases may vary from 6 to 20 years in prison. The crime of rape, on the other hand, has a prison sentence of 6 to 10 years. That was the first time Lula had spoken on the topic.

“I’m against abortion. However, since abortion is a reality, we must treat it as a public health issue. I think it's insane to punish a woman with a longer prison sentence than that applied to a criminal. That's insane, to say the least,” Lula criticized.

His statements were made during a press conference in Italy, where he attended the G7 Summit, which gathers the world’s richest nations. Lula also fulfilled commitments in Switzerland and took part in the International Labor Organization (ILO) conference.

Still, according to the Brazilian president, the country already has legislation to deal with the matter. In Brazil, abortion is considered a crime, but is allowed in cases of rape and risk to the mother's life.

“I’m sure that what [Brazilian] law already comprehends guarantees a civilized way to deal with abusers rigorously and to treat victims respectfully. When someone presents a proposal in which the victim has to be punished more rigorously than the abuser, it's not serious," said Lula.

The bill affects mainly children, since they take longer to realize what happened. Data published by the Brazilian Public Security Yearbook shows that, in 2022, 60% of records of this type of violence had children under the age of 13 as victims. Most of the crimes, 68%, took place inside the house, and the perpetrators in 64% of the cases were family members.

Edited by: Thalita Pires