Illegal abortion ring dismantled in Brazil

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RIO DE JANEIRO (BDCi) – Police in Rio de Janeiro arrested 55 people on Tuesday (14) during an operation to dismantle a ring of illegal abortion clinics after the recent deaths of two women who sought to terminate their pregnancies.

Another 20 people are suspected of being involved in the ring and warrants have been issued for their arrests.

According to the ex-husband of Jandira Magdalena dos Santos, whose charred body was discovered by police last month, she had gone to one of these clinics to get an abortion.

Police say she died during the abortion procedure and that her body had been stuffed in the trunk of a car and then lit on fire.

Elizangela Barbosa also died in a secret clinic after a botched abortion in the city of Niterói.

Police statements show that the ring of clinics performed abortions at different stages of pregnancy, including those in advanced stages. The clinics are also said to have been unhygienic, posing a threat to the women’s health.

In Brazil, abortion is only legal if the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life or is the result of rape.

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