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Woman Excommunicated for Daughter’s Abortion

Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho

Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho

This is an unbelievable story. It’s a few days old, but I hadn’t heard about it before. I just saw it reported on CNN.

A Brazilian archbishop says all those who helped a child rape victim secure an abortion are to be excommunicated from the Catholic Church.

The girl, aged nine, who lives in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, became pregnant with twins.

It is alleged that she had been sexually assaulted over a number of years by her stepfather.

The excommunication applies to the child’s mother and the doctors involved in the procedure….

Abortion is only permitted in Brazil in cases of rape and where the mother’s life is at risk and doctors say the girl’s case met both these conditions.

Police believe that the girl at the centre of the case had been sexually abused by her step-father since she was six years old.

From MSNBC:

Despite the nature of the case, the church had to hold its line against abortion, Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho said in an interview aired Thursday by Globo television.

“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.”

From AOL news

Fatima Maia, director of the public university hospital where the abortion was performed, said the 15-week-old pregnancy posed a serious risk to the 80-pound girl.

“She is very small. Her uterus doesn’t have the ability to hold one, let alone two children,” Maia told the Jornal do Brasil newspaper.

But Marcio Miranda, a lawyer for the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife in northeastern Brazil, said the girl should have carried the twins to term and had a cesarean section.
“It’s the law of God: Do not kill. We consider this murder,” Miranda said in comments reported by O Globo.

If the girl had continued the pregnancy and died, what would that be?

Time Magazine reports that unwanted pregnancies and abortions are extremely common in Brazil, despite the laws and the influence of the Catholic Church.

Although abortion is illegal, an estimated 1 million women each year have one. The poor are forced into clandestine clinics or take medication, while the better-off are treated by qualified physicians at well-appointed surgeries known to anyone with money and overlooked by colluding authorities.

That secrecy has a price. More than 200,000 women each year are treated in public hospitals for complications arising from illegal abortions, according to Health Ministry figures. Those who don’t have the courage or the money to be treated take the pregnancy to term. Although the fertility rate has fallen considerably in Brazil (from 6.1 children in 1960 to about 2 today), 1 in 3 pregnancies is unwanted, according to Dr. Jefferson Drezett, head of the Hospital Perola Byington, Latin America’s largest women’s health clinic.

I don’t even know what to say. Please tell me we aren’t going to go back to this kind of inhumanity in the United States.

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51 Responses

  1. This song comes to mind:

  2. No mercy for a little nine year old girl? She should suffer for the sins of men?

    There is a special place in hell reserved for those like the Archbishop.

    • He’ll be in hell all right and, if it was up to me, he’d be there a lot sooner than he expects. Sorry ratb*stard.

  3. Considering the circumstances, the entire situation is just unbelievable.

    Speaking of unbelievable situations, did any of you happen to see this story?

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/03/09/saudi.arabia.lashes/index.html

    “A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced a 75-year-old Syrian woman to 40 lashes, four months imprisonment and deportation from the kingdom for having two unrelated men in her house, according to local media reports.”

    • Hillary has said the US will meet with Syrian officials–I hope she is aware of this story, maybe she can intervene.

      Barbaric.

  4. I really don’t know what to say about a religion that considers mercy to be a sin.

    • As a recovering Catholic, my immediate thought is that the mother should be grateful to the church for not allowing her to continue supporting them.

  5. Or, what about this story …. there seems to be an underlying message regarding the value of women/girls.

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2305976.ece?OTC-RSS&ATTR=News

    “ONE in five adults thinks it is OK for a man to slap his wife or girlfriend, a shock survey reveals today.”

  6. Fatima Maia, director of the public university hospital where the abortion was performed, said the 15-week-old pregnancy posed a serious risk to the 80-pound girl.

    “She is very small. Her uterus doesn’t have the ability to hold one, let alone two children,” Maia told the Jornal do Brasil newspaper.

    But Marcio Miranda, a lawyer for the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife in northeastern Brazil, said the girl should have carried the twins to term and had a cesarean section.

    What part of “her uterus is too small to hold one, let alone two” doesn’t he understand?! She should carry them to term? This is exactly why I stopped going to church in my teens. The Catholic Church…don’t get me started.

    • Yep, I was finished with the Church when I was 13.

      • I walked out at 12 and never looked back. Screw ’em. As far as I’m concerned there are two major causes of evil in the world, the love of money and organized religion.

  7. This is one of the many reasons why I have strayed from my church. Unfortunately, keeping abortion legal here in the USA has not been a priority to Obama.

    What brutality on the part of this Archbishop. This poor little angel has been abused by her stepfather and now by the church.

    • Count me as another lapsed Catholic.

      • I think that there are alot of us out there.

        • I left the church many years ago when a Priest asked a friend of my mothers, a woman who had been beaten by her husband, what she had done to make him so mad.

          What had she done? She was there at home with their two kids when he got done spending a good share of his paycheck at the local bar on payday night. She was there for him to vent his anger and frustration on when the alcohol gave him the courage to do so.

          I left the church and have never regretted it.

  8. Well one after the next Catholic archdiocese goes into bankruptcy here in the states. The church is seriously out of touch with God. How long have they been covering up for sexual predators in the priesthood and they think they need to hold a hard line with little girls who have been repeatedly raped or lose their credibility? Men simply can not build functional institutions be it government, religion or corporate without real female influence. All they do is construct power structures that corrupt and serve irrelevant purposes.

    • That is so unbelievably stupid. In ectopic pregnancy, the fallopian tube bursts after the fetus gets too big for it and the godalmighty fetus dies anyway, along with the mother. At least the mother can be saved if the fetus is removed from the tube. But no, it’s better that both should die than that the mother but not the fetus should live? Stupid catholic church should just STFU.

  9. In my moral theology class in Catholic high school (c. 1963), I was taught the “principle of the double effect.” It was pointed out in the class that even in the case of an ectopic pregnancy there could be no abortion. Thus the woman had to die. That was the beginning of the end for me.

    • I had that explained to me once by a man I knew. He said that the choice must always be in favor of potential life. Therefore if it’s a choice between the life of the mother and the life of the fetus, the mother must die. After all that fetus could be a boy who will become something really important….

  10. I too am a lapsed Catholic as is everyone in my family. It is too bad because there are some services that the church organizes that are good. I’m thinking of women and children’s shelters.

  11. It will be interesting to see if the Pope upholds this excommunication, especially after all the publicity. But I think he will have to in order to be consistent.

  12. Brazil sounds a bit like Boston back in the ’60s when the Catholic Church ran everything.

  13. This is one of the reason’s I left the Church many many years ago. I wonder if they excommunicated all those pedophile priests?

    No wonder why so many people have decided to leave that cult.

  14. The child “should have carried the twins to term and then had a cesarean section”?? How many adult woman even carry twins to term? To have forced the child to remain pregnant would have been child abuse. I am sickened and dismayed. This shows how completely out-of-touch the Catholic hierarchy can be.

  15. Poor little thing. How did she even get pregnant at 9?

    • I’ve heard that there are a lot of hormones in meat and chicken in Latin American countries. But the age of menarche had gone down everywhere over the past 100 years.

  16. I remember watching a documentary on Link TV (before I quit watching it when I heard it was a vehicle of Soros) a few years ago that had a similar story with a different ending. Did anyone see it? It was in a Central American country, I believe, and the girl was around the same age, but she was raped by a neighbor. There were attempts to abort, but a battle between the church and some legal entity ensued and the timing became moot. She died in childbirth, so this family’s concerns were warranted. I wish my memory was keener.

  17. I’m surprised the archbishop had time to deal with this case, what with all the time it takes to have sex with little boys. Perhaps the preferred age of sex parters of priests had some influence in the opinion that a girl age 9 was plenty old to carry babies to term. OK, did I go over the top? I can never tell.

  18. All I can say is I hope the Church continues to issue insane opinions like this, since it will hasten their ultimate demise.
    *****A

  19. The mother and the doctors were excommunicated, but the rapist stepfather is A-OK with God!

    This is why I left the church. I don’t know how to explain to girl children that they’re second class citizens.

  20. I see ex-communication as a good thing. Now this poor woman will not waste her money by giving weekly contributions to an organization that doesn’t want her. I hope that one day she realizes that she wasn’t thrown out; she was set free.

  21. “All I can say is I hope the Church continues to issue insane opinions like this, since it will hasten their ultimate demise.”

    I think you’re on to something there, Adrienne! I can’t imagine that there are many practicing Catholics who will look at this story and side with the Church. Unbefuckinglievable!

  22. In my medical ethics class the idea of saving the actual — not the potential — life was predominate. Then there’s that idea of helping to ease suffering. An 80-lb 9-yr old girl trying to carry twins (let alone being in childbirth) sounds like a sure definition of suffering. Ugh.

    • I was 27 years old, 5’6″, 125 lbs. Gained weight like you wouldn’t believe – didn’t eat anything extra, just put on water weight. I was not aware I was carrying twins. I ate properly, took the appropriate vitamins, had regular medical visits and even so, had all the symptoms of Pre-eclampsia, which is a form of toxemia, and can prove fatal to both mother and the fetus.
      I survived. My children did not, of course there were other factors, however, I was healthy, and had a medical lifeline. This child does not have the same advantages that I had, and my situation was over 30 years ago.
      She is a little child. She is a baby. I cannot express adequately my contempt, nay hatred, for the people who are giving this child and her family a choice – almost certain death, or a life with the knowledge of H#ll in the afterlife….if there is any such thing.
      ProLife at any cost? Even the cost of a…LIFE.
      Tis an OXYMORON.

  23. This excommunication is institutional insanity , and I mean that in the fullest clinical sense of the word .
    This pervasive insanity is but one of the reasons I am a “recovering catholic ” and healthy happy pagan .
    I am very glad the decision for termination of the pregnancy was made and carried out .
    You know these are the same hypocrites who preach that thier savior said “suffer the little children to come unto me”
    not …. make the little children suffer in my name to satisfy your arcane twisted ego driven testosterone driven logic.

    I cannot begin to tell you the level of rage this kind of disregard for human life ( as long as it a female ) kindles in my soul .

  24. Hear, hear, yet dare I correct you. The disregard extends beyond female…it goes to the most vulnerable – children of any sex, and women. Witness the paedophilia scandal in the church.
    Children and women….they are always throwaways, ;yet, aren’t they the future?
    Do these pre-medieaval cretins even understand what they are doing? They are the architects of their own demise, and all I can hope for is that their demise will come sooner rather than later, as lately, each word out of their mouths puts another woman or child at risk.. And I’m not talking about only Catholics. It’s happening across the organized religious sects.

    • You are correct , the twisted logic is that the consideration is for the survival of the” church ” as an organisation . Death for “religion” is an all too common theme in so many archaic tribal based belief systems . When we will evolve past this to true humanity ??

  25. I wish women would stop supporting this nonsense.

  26. The Catholic Church–the quintessential patriarchy.

    Death to the Papists! (was that over the top?)

    • no, it was not.

      • We Massachusetts Conflucians should really get together.

        While I enjoy all of the front page writers here, it is Bostonboomer with whom I have most identified right from the get-go.

    • if a march on Washington DC with “bloody hangers” ( I had one of the big ones 🙂 ) isn’t over the top , your wish for the papists surely is not

      anyone here remember that??

      • Oh yeah, swannie–I definitely remember that.

        BB–If you knew me, you might not want to thank me for identifying with you! 🙂

        I would love to meet you, Catarina and other Boston area Conflucians, though. Hope we can make it happen some day.

  27. I would like to ask that fossil, Archbishop J. C. Sobrinho, if the priests who molested children have been excommunicated. And, if not, why not?

    It took the Catholic Church some 500 years to pardon Galileo for being scientifically accurate. As a recovering Catholic, I find it an utter waste of time to associate myself with an organization led by people so incapable of self-examination.

  28. I don’t know how I missed this one.

    Well, any sane American knows what the deal is here — with that father. That is incest to us, and WRONG.

    Unbelievable.

    I just saw this on the sidebar — thank you for bring it to the attention of the women here. Do we ever have our jobs cut out for us — don’t we?
    In this day and age?

    Insane. But then, I see what happened with that polygamy sect as insane too.

  29. So yeah, vbonnaire, I suppose if the young mother died in childbirth, the father should be judged as a murderer. Then maybe he could be excommunicated too. I don’t recall that incest and rape are sufficient cause. Anyone know?

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