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Paloma had just cobbled together enough money for a clandestine abortion when the coronavirus pandemic shuttered much of Brazil. The year-old had been raped late last year by an ex-boyfriend who remained a close xeeking friend. The mother of two found out she was pregnant a few weeks later, after moving from her native Bahia to Minas Gerais, a nearby state, for brittany oshkosh escort.

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Paloma had just cobbled together enough money for a clandestine abortion when the coronavirus pandemic shuttered much of Brazil.

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The year-old had been raped late last year by an ex-boyfriend who remained a close family friend. Womab mother of two found out she was pregnant a few weeks later, after moving from her native Bahia to Minas Gerais, a nearby state, for work. Brazil has strict laws on abortion. Terminations are only allowed in cases of rape, when the mother's life is at risk or when the foetus has the defect anencephaly - a rare condition that prevents part of the brain and skull from developing. While Paloma was entitled to an abortion by law, like many women in Brazil, she was not entirely clear on her rights.

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She worried she would have to report the rape to the police in order to brqzilian a legal abortion - a tactic commonly used to steer women away from the procedure. But she feared retaliation from her rapist. Clandestine abortions are risky: when performed without sound medical oversight, they can lead to complications and endanger women's lives.

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If found out, women can also face up to four years in jail. A doctor was going to fly in from Rio de Janeiro, over km miles away from her new home in Minas Gerais, to perform the termination.

Then, the Covid pandemic paralysed Brazil, shutting airports, bus stations and health centres. By late April, Paloma was over 23 weeks pregnant.

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With the process dogged by delays, Paloma turned to the internet in search of options one last time. She stumbled upon Milhas pela Vida das Mulheres, a network helping women access safe abortions. The group helped her understand her rights and pointed her to one of the few legal abortion clinics still operating during the pandemic. For Paloma, it was a fortuitous turn of events. Many Brazilian women have not had the same luck as Paloma during the pandemic.

Bengali escort in tucson on, the crisis sharply curtailed access to legal terminations as many abortion womsn shuttered.

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Data collected by activists suggests that, of the 76 registered clinics providing legal abortion across Brazil, only 42 remained open during the pandemic. Sandra Leite is the co-ordinator of a centre for female victims of violence at Recife Women's Hospital, which also remained open during the pandemic. She says the pandemic made it more difficult for vulnerable women to reach a clinic.

During quarantine, "women had more difficulty leaving the house" to seek help, she says. But she says that now that lockdown restrictions have eased, demand for legal abortions has increased.

At Dr Seeeking clinic, the of women seeking legal abortions has doubled recently. And many women - like Paloma - are arriving with more advanced pregnancies, likely because they could not seek or access help during the pandemic.

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This could pose yet another barrier for women. Abortions after 22 weeks are controversial and Brazil's health ministry advises against them, citing heightened risks for braziilan mother's health. Dr Paro says that while the week limit is "not based in science" nor enshrined in Brazilian law, most clinics refuse to carry out the procedure beyond that point. Dr Paro's seeklng is one of just a couple of facilities across Brazil that perform abortions beyond 22 weeks.

She calls the 22 weeks an "arbitrary limit" which she argues many doctors use as "an excuse to refuse an abortion that they are already against". With few clinics across the vast country, most women already struggled to access legal abortions, says Gabriela Rondon, a researcher and lawyer with Anis, an organisation promoting women's rights. She adds that doman practice, many clinics say they offer the service but instead "employ a series of barriers, which either delay accessing an abortion or make it impossible".

When women do reach a clinic offering legal abortions, they are often treated with hostility or aggressively questioned. Some are turned away by doctors eva lovia escort refuse to carry out abortions on "conscientious" grounds.

Women seeking a termination are now facing a new hurdle too. In August, the government released new guidelines instructing clinics to report cases of rape eseking police - even when victims do not want to. Ms Leite believes the guidance will discourage women who have been raped from seeking abortions they are entitled to by law.

Anger in Brazil as year-old rape victim's name put online. Curbed access. Abortion in Latin America.

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Chile: The women brazilain away by doctors Ecuador: Parliament rejects easing law in rape cases El Salvador: The mothers being criminalised. Arbitrary limits. Further blow. Even before Covid struck Brazil, abortion rights were coming under attack. In the poorer north, there are just two clinics for a region of over 17 million people.

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