Brazil Catholic Church Excommunicates Doctors Who Did Abortion on Little Girl
by Steven Ertelt
March 5, 2009
Brasilia, Brazil (LifeNews.com) — Leaders of the Catholic Church in Brazil are speaking out against doctors allowing a pregnant nine-year-old girl to have an abortion of twin babies. The girl became pregnant with twins after allegedly being subjected to sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather, who is now in custody.
The girl, from Sao Paulo and who has not been identified, was found to be four months pregnant when she was taken to a local hospital after complaining of stomach pains.
Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, the archbishop of Olinda and Recife, is upset that the abortion was done.
"The law of God is higher than any human laws," he said. "When a human law — that is, a law enacted by human legislators — is against the law of God, that law has no value. The adults who approved, who carried out this abortion have incurred excommunication."
The Catholic leader reportedly excommunicated her mother, the doctors and other people involved in the abortion.
Meanwhile, Marcio Miranda, an attorney for the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife in northeastern Brazil, tried to stop the abortion by threatening a lawsuit against the girl’s mother.
"We regard this as murder. It is God’s law – thou shalt not kill," he told DPA.
Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao, according to a Reuters report, said the excommunication move was extreme.
"I believe the position of the church is extreme, radical and inadequate," he said. "I am shocked by the radical position of this religion which, wrongly saying it is defending a life, puts another life in danger that is as important as any other."
Abortion is illegal in Brazil, as it is in most of the other predominantly Catholic countries of South America, except in the rare cases when a woman is a victim of rape or incest or her life is in danger from the pregnancy.
Doctors said they suggested the abortion because they didn’t think the girl’s young body would be able to handle the pregnancy. The babies were 15 weeks along at the time of the abortion.
"We don’t know if she will develop the pregnancy up to the end because of the structure of her body. It is a big risk for her,” Sergio Cabral of the University of Pernambuco’s Amaury de Medeiros Integrated Health Centre told the Diario de Pernambuco newspaper. "She doesn’t have a pelvis able to support a gestation of twins."
Brazilian media say the young girl was raped at the hands of her stepfather, who is 23, and that he has abused the girl since she was six. He also allegedly abused the girl’s physically handicapped 14-year-old sister.
The man was arrested last Thursday as he attempted to flee to another region in Brazil and was being kept in protective custody.
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