The Brazilian health minister, José Gomez Temporão, has called for a broadening of the country's debate on abortion. Brazil does not allow abortion, except when the mother's health is in danger, or if she is a victim of rape. According to Gomez, abortion is currently viewed as a religious matter, while he would prefer for it to be seen as a public health issue. The reason for his concern is that 200,000 Brazilian women receive treatment every year for post-abortion complications, usually resulting from abortions performed at illegal clinics.
Gomez is up against formidable opposition, though: the Roman Catholic Church, which represents Brazil's leading branch of Christianity, is solidly against abortion. Further, 65% of Brazilians want the abortion law to stay the way it is (BBC).
While it is certainly important for the state to try to preserve the health of women who fall victim to shoddy procedures at the illegal clinics, I belive that the state's first priority should be protecting the unborn. Perhaps this "broadening" of the debate should include a public education campaign on the dangers of using an illegal abortion clinic.