Catholic Church Excommunicates Doctors for Aiding Raped Child

The Catholic Church in Brazil plans to excommunicate all of the doctors involved in securing an abortion for a 9-year-old girl who became pregnant with twins after being raped by her stepfather. The Church also plans to excommunicate the girl’s mother, according to the BBC.

Abortion is legal in Brazil only in cases of rape or when the mother’s life would be endangered. Both conditions appear to have been true in this case. One of the girl’s doctors, Olimpio Moraes, told Reuters that “as doctors, we could not allow a girl of 9 to suffer like this or until she paid with her own life.”

The Brazilian Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao also told Reuters “I believe the position of the church is extreme, radical, and inadequate…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.”


BBC 3/6/09; Reuters 3/5/09

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