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Year: 2009 Type: Article Language: English

This article examines the experience of mobilizing for the right to safe, legal abortion in Brazil. It focuses on exploring the strategies pursued by the feminist and women’s movements to ‘win hearts and minds’ both within these movements, and beyond them, through collective struggle, dialogue and coalition building. Tracing the trajectory of the Brazilian campaign for the legalization of abortion, Jornadas pelo Direito ao Aborto Legal e Seguro (Brazilian Journeys for Legal and Safe Abortion), the article looks at avenues of action and modes of activism. It describes how the efforts of campaigners have focused not only on engaging support from the public and the media, but also on working with the Ministry of Health and health professionals to guarantee the availability of services for abortions that are legal under current restrictions, monitoring changes in public opinion and the media, and on legislative change, which has recently become especially difficult in the wake of increased activism by the Church. The analysis explores entry points, successes and challenges in this journey, and highlights ongoing dilemmas in the struggle for abortion rights in Brazil.

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