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Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais

On-line version ISSN 1806-9053


LUNA, Naara. Abortion and embryonic stem cells in the fraternity campaign: science and ethics in the teachings of the catholic church. Rev. bras. Ci. Soc. [online]. 2010, vol.25, n.74, pp.91-105. ISSN 1806-9053.

The paper analyzes the handbook of the 2008 Fraternity Campaign, promoted by the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops (CNBB), and contextualizes the Catholic Church's action in the public sphere. The theme "Fraternity and defense of life" has emerged as a reaction to not only the effort by the Health Ministry and the Special Office of Women Policy to redefine abortion as a public health problem, and change legislation accordingly, but also to in vitro fertilization and the use of supernumerary embryos for stem cell generation. Stem cell research and the debate on abortion legalization are independent processes led by different social actors (the scientific community and women's movement). The Church is a leading and aggregating actor in this controversy. The concept of "life" is key to this debate, sliding between religious and scientific discourses.

Keywords : Catholic Church; Abortion; Embryonic stem cells; Life.

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