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Brazil Government New Health Offer

Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao plans to distribute "morning after" pills to the poor. After just a few months in office, Brazils new health minister has managed to offend a lot of people with his new offerings.

Brazil's government has added "morning after" pills to its newly expanded birth control program in hopes of helping poor people reduce unwanted pregnancies and dangerous illegal abortions.

This announcement comes just a month after President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said the government would provide cheap birth control pills at 10,000 drug stores across Brazil.

This action has won Jose Gomes Temporao fans among social activists, pro-abortion groups and Brazil's poor.

The outspoken Temporao has emerged as the most controversial member of President Luiz Inacio Lula's government since he took office in March -- even taking on Pope Benedict.

He advocated that at time of his swearing in "Health has become the right of every citizen and the duty of the state,"

His priority was to put the state-funded national health system in order. The network of clinics offers free treatments including vaccinations, but with nearly a quarter of Brazil's 185 million people living in poverty, it is under funded and overburdened.

On assuming charge as the health minister he went on to cut prices on birth control pills and advised men to get vasectomies. His support for abortion and call for a referendum on its legalization in Brazil has outraged Roman Catholic leaders. Weeks before a visit by Pope Benedict to the world's largest Catholic nation, Temporao criticized the national bishops' council for its opposition to abortion.

Brazil is the worlds largest Roman Catholic nation, and the church has vehemently opposed any expansion of birth control. Brazilian Archbishop Orlando Brandes, who represents the church on this issue, was unavailable for comment Tuesday, his office
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