—Richard Albert, Boston College Law School
Last month, we announced that I-CONnect would host a special symposium on a recent abortion decision in Brazil. In an historic ruling for the region, the First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Brazil held that a criminal prohibition on procuring an abortion before the end of the first trimester violates the fundamental rights of women as well as the principle of proportionality.
Writing for the majority, Justice Luís Roberto Barroso wrote that “women bear alone the integral burden of pregnancy.” He continued: “Therefore there will only exist gender equality if women have the right to decide whether to continue a pregnancy or not.”
Today we are pleased to publish a special global symposium on this abortion ruling. The symposium features comments from scholars around the world on this controversial and important decision–controversial because the Court split 3 to 2 and the judgment has stirred much debate among lawmakers, and important because the judgment has broken new ground in the region.
First, immediately below, we publish the syllabus of the case. The full judgment, translated into English, is available here: Brazilian Abortion Ruling–Translation. We then publish comments from the following scholars:
- Rebecca J. Cook and Bernard M. Dickens, both of the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto;
- Chao-ju Chen, National Taiwan University College of Law;
- Grégor Puppinck, Director of the European Centre for Law and Justice in Strasbourg, France;
- Debora Diniz from the University of Brasilia and NYU Law School, and Christine Ricardo from the Yale Law School; and
- Rachel Rebouché, Temple University Beasley School of Law
We thank Justice Barroso and his Chambers for generously providing, at our request, the syllabus and translation for his majority opinion in this case.