31 July 2018
Abortion

The Bishops: Defend Life at Every Stage

In Brazil, the debate on the decriminalization of abortion has begun

A call to defend life from conception to natural death has been launched by the Brazilian Bishops in view of the debate on a proposal to decriminalize the voluntary interruption of pregnancy up to the 12th week.

The public debate on the proposal—the ADPF = Arguição de Descumprimento de Preceito Fundamental no. 442 calling for the deletion of Art. 124-126 of the Criminal Code, in which abortion is defined as a crime—is scheduled to be held on August 3rd and 6th at the Supreme Federal Court. Currently, in this country, abortion is allowed only in instances where the pregnant woman’s life is at risk or if the pregnancy is the result of rape. The new legislation would, however, allow for abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy.

With the debate approaching, the CNBB Commission for Life and Family has published a note entitled “Abortion and Democracy,” focused on two points: the defense of life at every stage and the protection of the democratic system. Regarding the first point, the Bishops recall that “it is urgent to fight against the causes of abortion, by implementing public policies that effectively help women in the field of health, safety, and sexual education, especially in the poorest parts of Brazil.”

“The Church—says the document—has always reiterated that the respect for the life and dignity of women must be promoted so that the violence and discrimination that they suffer may be overcome.” At the same time, the Bishops recall that “the Church is helping the most vulnerable among the vulnerable: the helpless unborn children.” Regarding the protection of the democratic system, the Bishops emphasize the importance of parliamentary debate and recall that, over the years, the population has always rejected all the attempts to legalize abortion. Despite this, proposals are continuously being made, proposals that, according to the Bishops, violate “all the rules of democracy, by trying to change the laws through judicial power.”