Rousseff courts Brazil’s faith voters with “for life” comments

By Reuters Staff
October 6, 2010

dilma

(Photo: Brazilian presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia, October 5, 2010/Ueslei Marcelino)

Brazil’s ruling party candidate Dilma Rousseff is playing up her Roman Catholic background in efforts to win back religious voters, whose doubts about her faith and position on abortion rights may have cost her an outright victory in Sunday’s presidential election.

In a surprise shift, many religious voters who oppose abortion, especially evangelical Christians, abandoned Rousseff’s  center-left Workers’ Party to vote for the Green Party’s Marina Silva, who captured an unexpectedly large 19 percent of the vote.

“Personally, I’m from a Catholic family. I am and always was in favor of life,” Rousseff told reporters on Tuesday outside of her campaign headquarters in Brasilia. “I have no problem addressing the religious issue. My project addresses all the religions.”

She did not elaborate. Internet videos in recent weeks showed Rousseff, a former leftist guerrilla leader, apparently favoring the decriminalization of abortion, which is illegal in most cases.

Evangelical Christians are growing in influence in Brazil and now make up about 20 percent of the population in the overwhelmingly Catholic country.

Read the full story by Raymond Colitt here.

Here’s one of those Rousseff videos (in Portuguese) making the rounds — Dilma Rousseff é favorável à legalização do aborto (Dilma Rousseff favours legalisation of abortion):

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One comment

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Ms President Dilma Rousseff is right about abortion in Brazil. It’s completely hypocritical to hide the truth of the fact that millions of very poor, illiterate, unemployed Brazilian women are undergoing abortion in Brazil every year, in the most chaotic conditions. Of course, being right and aware of reality in our country, Ms. Rousseff is in favour of legalization and provision of concrete health care conditions offered freely by the government to these Brazilian women who cannot afford to raise a child or the abortion procedure itself. Our country is full of beggars who were brought to the world by these needy, resourceless women, who are better off undegoing abortion, and their to be children are also better off not coming to the world to suffer and hunger.
Ms. Rousseff is an intelligent, educated, experienced, realistic woman and knows best what less privileged women in our country needs. These ridiculous so-called religious people do not support the millions of newly-born babies who starve from an early age and have no other choice in life other than become a criminal in their teens. These not aborted children are killing and robbing us from the middle-class all over Brazil. This a horror, sad chain that must be broken with the interruption of pregnancy and / or contraceptive procedure in the first place.

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