The Debate Concerning Female Sterilization in the Brazilian National Congress

Leila Marchezi Tavares Menandro, Hazel Barrett

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Abstract: For many women in the world sterilization is the most appropriate contraceptive method. It can, though, be used as a control instrument when reproductive rights are not widely guaranteed. This paper analyzes the Bills at the Brazilian National Congress that propose amendments to the Family Planning Law regarding voluntary sterilization in an attempt to demonstrate that these Bills would imply restriction of the reproductive cycle of women. Documentary research was utilized in the texts of 15 bills in progress until 2020. It was verified that neo-Malthusian philosophy predominates among legislators and that the Bills are evidence of the advance of conservatism in the Brazilian National Congress. The legislators institutionalize, through the Bills, the oppression on women by offering easy access to a definitive procedure, as they know that women opt for surgery to contain their reproductive cycle in a context of absence of social policies and frailty of reproductive rights.
Keywords: Women’s Reproductive Rights. Family Planning. Social Policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-111
Number of pages19
JournalSociedade em Debate (pelotas)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2023


  • social policy
  • women's rights
  • Family planning
  • brazil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Institute themes

  • Equality and Inclusion


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