Brazil (Rede Médica pelo Direito de Decidir)

GDC/Brazil Leadership

Dr. Cristião Fernando Rosas is the founder and lead doctor of GDC/Brazil, and a member of GDC’s Board of Managers. Dr. Maria José de Oliveira Araújo has served as co-lead doctor since 2012.

GDC/Brazil’s Advisory Committee includes eight experts in the field of reproductive health and rights.

Catholics for Choice/Brazil serves as GDC/Brazil’s fiscal sponsor.

For more information, see “Lead Doctor Profiles and Advisory Committee“.

GDC/Brazil: Recent Highlights

  • GDC/Brazil recently produced a Portuguese translation of GDC’s White Paper on conscientious objection in reproductive health care. Though the limited data available suggest that conscientious refusal of care is increasingly common in Brazil, with negative consequences for women’s health, the subject has received very little attention. With the publication of the “A objeção de consciência e a recusa em prestar cuidados em saúde reprodutiva: Um Relatório que examina a prevalência, suas consequências à saúde e as respostas normativas”, GDC aims to contribute to the formulation of policy and legislative responses to CO that safeguard the health and lives of women while respecting the integrity and conscience of doctors. The Portuguese language White Paper was launched at an event at the University of São Paulo School of Public Health, which was attended by 50 leaders in the fields of both public, and maternal and child health. Dr. Rosas and Advisory Committee member Debora Diniz also recently published “Conscientious objection, barriers, and abortion in the case of rape:
    a study among physicians in Brazil.”
  • In partnership with the Federal University of the State of Sao Paolo, GDC/Brazil held a workshop on advocacy related to sexual and reproductive rights, with a focus on sexual violence and abortion. Trainees were primarily doctors who are also professors at the university’s medical school.  The goal of the workshop was develop advocacy strategies for improving the implementation of safe abortion procedures in university hospitals. Catholics for Choice and the Patricia Galvao Institute (a Brazilian communications organization devoted to women’s rights) also sent representatives to participate.
  • GDC/Brazil attended a meeting with the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA), the independent semi-governmental body responsible for approving pharmaceutical products, where Hebron Laboratory was successfully lobbied to produce Mifepristone in Brazil, and to present new formulations of Misoprostol.
  • GDC/Brazil is a member of the Brazilian Society for the Progress of Science’s “Study Group on Abortion” (GEA). GEA, which aims to broaden the discussion around abortion and reframe it as a public health issue, is a multidisciplinary initiative that involves a wide range of experts, including doctors, lawyers, anthropologists, women’s rights activists, psychologists, biologists.
  • GDC/Brazil has developed a collaborative partnership with Federación Latinoamericana de Sociedades de Obstetrícia y Ginecologia (FLASOG).
  • GDC/Brazil conducted its first physician-advocacy training in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. The training focused on strategies for addressing conscientious refusal of care and widening the interpretation of health exceptions for legal abortion.
  • GDC/Brazil co-convened two meetings on the safe use of misoprostol for medication abortion, and helped organize two seminars focused on including cases of anencephaly in the expansion of the health exception for abortion.
  • GDC/Brazil collaborated with the US-based Center for Reproductive Rights on a maternal mortality case brought before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. More information is available here.



Advocating for access to safe reproductive health care.