The Drama of Abortion: A Tribute to Dr. José Barzelatto

January 19, 2007 - 4:00 pm

Organized with the Generous and Caring Participation of Carmen Barroso and International Planned Parenthood Federation

Anibal Faundes, University of Campinas-UNICAMP, Brazil
Frances Kissling, Catholics for a Free Choice
Liz Maguire, IPAS
Carmen Barroso, IPPF/WHR

Mauricio Font, Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies

Deeply touched by the tragedies of botched abortions that they witnessed as medical students and young physicians in Chile in the 1940s and later around the world, the late Dr. José Barzelatto attempted in his professional life to establish a framework for dialogue to replace the polarization that still exists today in regard to abortion. Dr. Barzelatto, formerly Vice President of the Center for Health and Social Policy, served from 1985 to 1989 as Director of the UNDP/WHO/World Bank Special Program for Research and Training in Human Reproduction and from 1989 to 1997 as Director of the Ford Foundation’s Reproductive Health and Population Program.
Together with Dr. Aníbal Faúndes (UNICAMP, Brazil), he wrote The Human Drama of Abortion: A Global Search for Consensus (Vanderbilt University Press, 2006). Authored by physicians with decades of experience, this volume explores medical, moral and policy dimensions of this difficult subject. Their hope is to identify and promote the changes that are known to reduce the incidence and the consequences of induced abortions.

This is what writer Isabel Allende says of this volume: “Those who go through the pages of this easy-to-read book will see that despite existing strong differences of opinion, it is possible to agree about basic principles that could allow us to reach an ‘overlapping consensus.’ Putting into practice the basic elements of this consensus will minimize the suffering that so many women have to endure each day in every corner of the world.”
Carmen Barroso (Director for the Western Hemisphere, International Planned Parenthood Federation) puts it this way: “This book should be obligatory reading for any person that wants to have an opinion about abortion. And everybody should have an opinion, because abortion can affect us all, directly or indirectly, whether we want it or not.”