Sunday, March 8, 2009
Vatican condemns abortion for 9-year-old girl, allegedly abused and pregnant with twins
The nine-year-old Brazilian girl weighs 80 pounds. She was allegedly abused by her stepfather, according to the BBC. She became pregnant with twins. Doctors feared that if she tried to give birth she would die. Her mother had doctors perform an abortion, allowed in these circumstances by Brazil's otherwise tough anti-abortion statutes.
The Catholic Church responded by throwing the mother and the doctors out of the church. Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is Catholic, condemned the excommunications. A senior Vatican official condemned him.
The official, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re (photo) told the Italian newspaper La Stampa that the twins "had the right to live."
Did the nine-year-old girl have a right to live?
If the girl's doctors were correct, then somebody was likely to die--either the girl, or one or both of the twins.
I can't begin to imagine how I would have handled this situation, if it were my decision to make. How does one compromise when there is no compromise possible? How does one protect life when either choice could mean death for somebody?
Cardinal Re apparently had no room for such reflection: Abortion is a sin. Let the girl die, if it be God's will.
That, I suppose, is one of the gifts of faith. Decisions that should be frightfully difficult become simple. No hesitation. No exceptions.