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Birth control and free choice in Brazil

Birth control and free choice in Brazil

Newsletter 1992(39): 18-20

The high sterilization rates in Brazil infringe upon reproductive rights as human rights of women in view of the availability of contraceptives. Currently, 2/3 of married women between the ages of 15 and 44 years use contraception in Brazil. Age is a factor: according to 1986 information, 5.5% of the women had undergone a sterilization operation before reaching the age of 25, and 19.5% had done so before reaching 30 years of age. This means that 1 out of 5 Brazilian women have permanently lost the capacity of reproduction at 29 years of age. On the other hand, in 1986, 13% of the women between 35 and 39 years old and 11% of women aged 40-44 were using oral contraceptives (OCs). In a study of the University of Campinas, Sao Paulo, made public by the National Council of Women's Rights of Brazil in 1989, 50% of those women had some kind of contraindication against OCs, and 27% of them had definite contraindication against OC use. Another study has indicated that 3 years after having been sterilized, 50% of 25-year old women interviewed would have like to reverse the operation. Only 12% of Brazilian women acceptors use natural contraceptive methods compared with 61% in developed countries. In 1986, .9% used the IUD and only .5% used the diaphragm. 7 million Brazilian women are sterilized. In the 1960s, women of reproductive age has an average of 6.4 children, now women have 2.3 children. Regional sterilization rates are particularly high: 79.8% in Maranhao, 74.7% in Goias, 64.3% in Alagoas, and 64.1% in Pernambuco. The maternal mortality rate is 1/6366 in Brazil as compared with 1/9580 in European countries. According to WHO data 34,000 women died during pregnancy or within 42 days after delivery in Brazil in 1989, while in developed countries 6000 women died.

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Accession: 045383090

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PMID: 12285920

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