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Interface - Comunicação, Saúde, Educação

On-line version ISSN 1807-5762


SOUZA, Rozana Aparecida de  and  BRANDAO, Elaine Reis. In the shadow of abortion: the social debate on emergency contraception in the Brazilian press (2005-2009). Interface (Botucatu) [online]. 2012, vol.16, n.40, pp.161-176.  Epub Apr 19, 2012. ISSN 1807-5762.

This social-anthropological study discusses the central premises of the social debate on emergency contraception (EC) in Brazil, through analyzing 131 texts published in the newspapers Folha de S. Paulo (São Paulo) and O Globo (Rio de Janeiro) between 2005 and 2009, guided by the keywords: morning-after pill, emergency contraception and EC. The Catholic Church and Ministry of Health were the main interlocutors, identified through discourse based on war metaphors consonant with public health terminology. These texts poorly reproduced the arguments defending sexual and reproductive rights. The Catholic Church's contrary positioning was based on biomedical arguments that consider EC to be an abortion method because it is used postcoitally, thereby equating EC to misoprostol (Cytotec) and the RU486 pill. The Ministry of Health and professionals argued that EC may help to avoid unsafe abortions. However, its mechanism of action was not well discussed, such that abortion became the central topic.

Keywords : Contraception postcoital; Abortion; Sexual and reproductive rights; Healthcare services.

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