Charge the Archbishop with Attempted Murder

BlogHer Original Post

In Brazil, a nine year old girl who weighs 79 pounds and is under four feet tall was raped by her stepfather. She became pregnant with twins. The New York Times reported that medical treatment was sought after she complained of pain. Doctors at a state clinic 140 miles miles away from her home examined her and found that "the girl's uterus was was too small to support one baby, let alone two." They performed an abortion that saved her life.

Instead of praising doctors for saving the girl's life, Catholic Church officials went ballistic:

A Brazilian archbishop summarily excommunicated everyone involved — the doctors for performing the abortion and the girl’s mother for allowing it — except for the stepfather, who stands accused of raping the girl over a number of years.

“The law of God is above any human law,” said José Cardoso Sobrinho, the archbishop, who argued that while rape was bad, abortion was even worse.

Anonymous is a Woman asks:

Really? More serious than the fact that this man is apparently a serial rapist who also abused the girl's 14 year old handicapped sister?

The pregnant nine year old weighed 80 pounds and was carrying twins. Doctors believed her hips were too childishly thin for her to deliver the baby. The archbishop's solution - she could have had a Caesarian section.

Sally at Eternal Echoes says:

If we are to retain out humanity, we must be willing to engage with the complex questions that this case raises for us. In this case I believe that abortion was a humane act, the choice best within a a bad set of circumstances brought about by an abusive relationship. This young girl is a peson [sic]who has been violated, she is not alone. By excommunicating the doctor, his team and the girl mother, but not the step-father the Archbishop has made an astonishing statement about the value of this young life, he has effictively declared her a nonentity, suitable only for bearing children no matter what the cost might be to her. This is crazy, it reinforces patriachal structures declaring womens bodies not their own...

One more voice of outrage, dafyophi posted at Feministing, rants:

It's good to know that two fetuses are more important than the physical and psychological well-being of an actual child. I thought it might be morally reprehensible to force an eighty pound girl to give birth to twins after a grown man brutally attacks her, but clearly I stand corrected.

And here is the crux of my rage: If the law of God is above any human law, then why does José Cardoso Sobrinho have the right to condemn a nine year old girl to death? Does the Archibishop confuse himself with God? If so, perhaps he should be excommunicated for his hubris. More importantly, under state laws, he should be charged with attempted murder. This girl is a human life - I think we can all agree on that. By interferring with her right to life, he is condemning her to death. Archbishop Cardoso Sorbrinho is attempting murder. Period.

I will never, ever understand why the life of an existing child or woman does not count as a life when it comes to pregnancies that can kill the girl or woman. This is a mockery of the phrase "pro-life" that shows the true fallacy of the position: these people do not support the lives of girls and women.

Suzanne also blogs at Campaign for Unshaved Snatch (CUSS) & Other Rants.

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