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Brazil president approves sexual violence law

August 1, 2013

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — President Dilma Rousseff has approved a controversial law that guarantees women who’ve been victims of sexual violence access to medical and psychological treatment.

The measure came under fire from the Catholic church because it guarantees access to emergency contraceptives, like the so-called morning after pill.

Church officials had called on Rousseff to veto that article, as well as one stipulating abused women be informed of their right to an abortion. The procedure is illegal in Brazil except for in a few cases, including the rape of the mother.

However, Rousseff signed off Thursday on text without making any vetoes. The law will take effect on Friday, when it appears in the government’s official journal.

Women’s Policy Minister Eleonora Minicucci said the measure “spells respect for women who suffer sexual violence.”

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