Scientific evidence to support the debate

Rosa Maria Soares Madeira Domingues Marilia Sá Carvalho Cláudia Medina Coeli Luciana Dias de Lima About the authors

This Supplement of CSP is an offshoot of an event held in April 2018 by the Miguel Murat de Vasconcellos Study Center of the Sergio Arouca National School of Public Health, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (CEENSP/ENSP/Fiocruz), in partnership with the Fiocruz Center for Strategic Studies (CEE-Fiocruz), addressing the theme Abortion and Public Health: Research, Patient Care, and Management11. Centro de Estudos Miguel Murat de Vasconcellos, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sergio Arouca, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Aborto, saúde pública e saúde da mulher em pauta no Ceensp. (acessado em 21/Jan/2020).
. Voluntary termination of pregnancy was also the object of a public hearing in the Brazilian Supreme Court in August 2018 22. Supremo Tribunal Federal. Audiência Pública "Interrupção voluntária da gravidez". ADPF 442. Relatora Ministra Rosa Weber. (acessado em 21/Jan/2020).

The Supplement takes an interdisciplinary approach, featuring key Brazilian and international researchers in the field of Women’s Health and aiming at up-to-date scientific knowledge and presentation of results for an evidenced-based debate on abortion.

The article by Ilana Löwy, a researcher at INSERM (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale/France), discusses the challenging topic of termination of pregnancy in the presence of a fetal malformation.

From the international context, the edition presents the experience of seven countries (El Salvador, Colombia, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Portugal, and Ireland) with diverse regulatory frameworks on voluntary termination of pregnancy.

Two systematic reviews, one on unsafe abortion and the other on legal abortion, focus on Brazil’s research output on these topics from 2008 to 2018, with studies based on quantitative approaches.

Three articles address methodological issues: difficulties in conducting quantitative studies on abortion in contexts of illegality, a proposal for an instrument to assess the quality of abortion care from the patients’ perspective, and the use of a Bayesian hierarchical model to estimate the number of abortions.

Ten studies with quantitative and qualitative methodologies discuss various aspects of abortion: the limits and potentialities of national information systems to analyze the epidemiological situation of abortion; discourses on abortion during the Zika epidemic in two newspapers with nationwide circulation; male perspectives on unwanted pregnancies; and assessment of practices and meanings in the ultrasound scenario in public maternity hospitals, among others.

The Supplement concludes with an interview with Margareth Arilha, a researcher at the Center for Populations Studies Elza Berquó (NEPO) of the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) and staff researcher at the Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning (CEBRAP).

We hope that this special edition, featuring such diverse aspects and approaches on the topic of abortion, contributes to the scientific debate, presenting current data, filling existing gaps, and identifying areas that require further research.


Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    6 Apr 2020
  • Date of issue
Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sergio Arouca, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil