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Court's OK for abortion stirs controversy in Brazil

SAO PAULO, Brazil -- A Sao Paulo court allowed a woman to abort a 4-month-old malformed fetus despite Brazil law only granting abortions in cases of rape or when the mother's life is in danger, local media said Sunday.

In this case, the fetus was diagnosed with Edwards syndrome, a genetic disorder that is the second most common autosomal trisomy after Down syndrome, the daily Folha de Sao Paulo reported.

The mother sought an abortion, which was denied. She then appealed, saying her life was at risk and that the child would have no chance of survival outside the womb.

On appeal, a judge allowed the procedure, saying that the law, which has not been changed in 70 years, should be interpreted with some flexibility.

It was the second recent high-profile case to move forward despite the limits Brazilian law puts on abortion.

In April, the Supreme Court allowed an abortion of a fetus with anencephaly — in which a large part of the brain and skull is missing — despite the opposition of some religious groups.

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