Our Brazilian partners from the organization Grupo Curumim recently rallied around a young girl who became pregnant as the result of rape. Through a combination of Brazilian law and active support from feminist organizers to protect access to abortion, the girl was able to obtain an abortion.
Yesterday the L.A. Times published a sharp op-ed as a follow up on this story, in which they commended the Catholic church (well, sort of) for being consistent – consistently anti-choice. The L.A. Times says:
In Brazil, the church’s actions suggested that the suffering of a young girl was of little concern compared with consistency on abortion. And ultimately, Rome acknowledged that the episode was badly handled. Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, Archbishop Rino Fisichella said the excommunications, which by church law are incurred automatically when abortion is procured or performed by adults, did not have to be blared to the world. Instead, the child “should have been defended, hugged and held tenderly to help her feel that we were all on her side.”
Photo of visit of pope Benedict XVI to Sao Paulo, Brazil in May 2007 via the creative commons Flickr photostream of Fernando Stankuns.