Mar 13, 2009

The Catholic Church and Abortion for Rape Victims

A commenter at Sassy Lawyer's blog left a link to this article on a 9-year old who was raped by her 23-year old stepfather and got pregnant with twins. Her mother had the twins aborted and the Catholic Church excommunicated the mother and the doctor who performed the abortion. The girl was not excommunicated because she is still a child, but the rapist was not excommunicated because according to the Cardinal, abortion was the more serious of the crimes.

As a mother, I agree with the child's mother that the primary concern is the life of the girl. Can a 9-year old conceive a twin and not be in danger? Any pregnancy is fraught with risks, what more if with twins and what more if the mother is a child herself? One comment in the article said that the if the life of the mother is at risk, the Catholic church believes that the mother's life takes priority. But if that is the case, and I would think that this situation falls under that, then why excommunicate the mother and the doctor? No wonder this is causing a lot of trouble for the church in Brazil. I wonder what those supporter of the church's decision have to say for themselves in this case.

But it also had me thinking. What if the rape victim was not a child and could carry the twins full term without too much risks? Is it okay if the church excommunicate the adult in that case? At this point, if I were the victim, I honestly can't say that I would or would not go for an abortion.

But if I were the mother of the child who was raped, I know I would have done the same thing.

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