Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been drawn into a row over an abortion carried out on a nine year-old girl who was raped by her stepfather.
Brazil’s Roman Catholic church has excommunicated the girl’s mother and the doctors in a country where abortion is generally illegal. The law does allow exceptions where the pregnant mother’s health is at risk if the birth goes ahead. But now the Brazilian president has stepped in. “I don’t see how it is possible to allow a nine year old girl who was raped to have that baby, especially as her life was at risk,” he said. Indeed, doctors who carried out the abortion say the girl could have died giving birth. They felt they had no choice but to remove the foetus. One of the doctors, Olimpio Moraes said: “There are two aspects of this case that make it legal. The child was raped and her life was at risk. As a doctor I could not run that type of risk.” The Roman Catholic Church in Brazil disagrees saying the abortion was against religious values The Archbishop of Recife Jose Cardoso Sobrinho said: “The law of God is above any human laws. If a human law created by legislators works against God’s law then it has zero value.” The story has split Brazil. The girl’s stepfather has been arrested. He is said to have confessed to abusing her since she was six.