Thousands Of Brazilians Protest Proposed Abortion Ban [PHOTOS]

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Grace Carr Reporter
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Brazilian protesters took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo Monday wearing war paint and chanting loudly to protest a proposed ban on abortions in the country.

“Our bodies are ours!” the crowds yelled, after which some protesters engaged the police in a small physical altercation resulting in tear gas, according to the Associated Press. Other protesters carried “Secular uterus” signs and “I don’t deserve to bear the child of my rapist” banners, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The protests come after a special committee gathered last week to vote 18-1 vote to ban all abortions, Reuters reported. Abortion is illegal in Brazil, except in cases of rape, where the mother’s life is in danger and if the fetus has anencephaly — a condition where the baby is born missing part of the brain and dies shortly thereafter. Women who have abortions face up to three years in prison, while doctors who perform abortions can receive four years. (RELATED: Brazilian Committee Votes To Prohibit All Abortions).

“Criminal penalties for abortion deny pregnant women and girls the right to make deeply personal decisions about their health and lives, and threaten a wide range of human rights,” said Human Rights Watch Americas director José Miguel Vivanco, after the group filed amicus briefs in two cases arguing that the court should decriminalize abortion.

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