Spanish intellectuals petition against abortion

MADRID – Approximately 1000 scientists, physicians, academics, and intellectuals have signed the Madrid Manifesto, a statement rejecting further legalization of abortion in Spain. The Socialist Worker’s Party has proposed permitting abortion on demand for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and the manifesto is meant to counter the move. “We subscribe to the present Manifesto in defense of human life in its initial, embryonic, and fetal stages, and we reject its manipulation at the service of lucrative economic or ideological interests,” the manifesto states. “There exists overwhelming scientific evidence that life begins at the moment of fertilization. The most current knowledge demonstrates it.” The statement goes on to describe cellular biology and fetal development. After providing more evidence for the humanity of life in the womb, the signers conclude that “abortion is not only an act of ‘voluntary interruption of pregnancy’ but a simple and cruel act of ‘interruption of a human life’,” and that “abortion is a drama with two victims: one dies and the other survives and suffers daily from the consequences of a dramatic and irreparable decision.” Signing the manifesto were members of the royal academies of medicine; pharmacy; moral and political sciences; exact, physical, and natural sciences; jurisprudence and legislation; history; and fine arts. It was also signed by members of Gynecologists for the Right to Life, Pediatricians for the Right to Life, Psychiatrists for the Right to Life, and the Professional Association of Freelance Medical Practitioners.

Excommunication for doctor, family in 9-year-old’s abortion

RECIFE, Brazil – Olinda and Recife Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho excommunicated a doctor who committed an abortion on a nine-year-old girl, as well as family members who made the decision to abort. An unnamed girl was sexually abused by her stepfather, resulting in her becoming pregnant with twins. Initially doctors at the Imip hospital said the girl’s life was not in danger, but her mother transferred the girl to Cisam, another hospital that was willing to commit the abortion. Under Brazilian law abortion is permitted in cases of rape. Archbishop Sobrinho said the child cannot be held accountable for the abortion, but that the doctor and adult family members can. The archbishop had been filing a legal motion to prevent the abortion when news broke that the procedure had been carried out. U.S. neonatologist Dr. Paul Byrne, a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Toledo, Ohio, told the child’s life was not threatened, noting that the problem of giving birth with an undeveloped pelvic structure could be safely avoided by a caesarean section. He said that the sexually abused girl needed treatment for her emotional health, not an abortion under dubious physical health pretenses.