If you want a peek into the future of women’s health should Republicans succeed in criminalizing abortion, look no further than Brazil. Provisionary Measure 557 (PM 557) signed into law just after Christmas, created a National System of Registration, Vigilance and Monitoring Women’s Care During Pregnancy and Post Childbirth for the Prevention of Maternal Mortality (National Registration System).
It’s a long name that masks the Orwellian reality Brazilian women now face–compulsory registration with the state of all pregnancies.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff created this registry using a power intended only for urgent matters that allows the president to pass a law without congressional approval. Because apparently nothing is as urgent as monitoring each pregnancy in Brazil for evidence of potential criminality.
Even worse, Rousseff created the registry under the guise of trying to address Brazil’s high rate of maternal mortality. But PM 557 does not guarantee women access to health exams, or even providers trained in obstetric emergency care. The largest contributing factor in maternal mortality is access to high quality health care in public health facilities and PM 557 takes not one step in the direction of providing women access to quality health care.
What it does do though is to legally compel women to have any child she conceives and specifically places women under state monitoring for this very purpose.
Photo from Emory Co Photo via flickr.