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Posted by Drew Lomax at 12:00 PM
I've waited some time on posting about this story, mostly because of its controversial nature, but I think there is no easy way to put forth what I'm about to say.
First, you may or may not have heard about the story of the nine-year-old Brazilian girl who was abused and raped by her stepfather, which resulted in her impregnation of twins. This simply is a horrible, tragic event which words fail to describe, and thoughts can ever come to terms with. Quite honestly it's stories like these that make me crave the day for Christ's return so that we can be free of this wicked horror and evil which dwells in our very hearts.
Beside the horror of this case, two questions arise. First , "can a girl that age actually, physically bare children?"
Her doctor, Jose Severiano Cavalcanti said, "We don't know if she will develop the pregnancy up to the end because of the structure of her body. It is a big risk for her,'' further saying, "She doesn't have a pelvis able to support a gestation of twins....''
Alright, second question that I believe would pop up in the minds of many would be, "considering the heinousness of the crime perpetrated against her, the complications such a situation brings, and the danger to her overall health, should she get an abortion?"
In Brazil, a heavily Roman Catholic nation, abortion is illegal except in cases of incest and danger of physical harm to the mother, at least as is decided by their judicial system. This case obviously fits both bills, and is to be the ultimate outcome in this poor girls case.
However, this is where things began to get complicated. The office of the Archdiocese for the Roman Catholic Church in that region of Brazil has condemned the abortion as murder, and suggested that the girl should have attempted to carry the twins to the gestational date and perform a cesarean section when the girl was due.
Pro-choicers the world over were "up in arms" over this, as to be expected. However, they were to be even more irate over what happened next, for the Arch-Bishop of this region in Brazil, as a result of the girls abortion, excommunicated the abortion practitioners and her mother from the Church (they did not excommunicate the little girl) siting, "The law of God is higher than any human laws. When a human law - that is, a law enacted by human legislators - is against the law of God, that law has no value." He also stated, "The adults who approved, who carried out this abortion have incurred excommunication."
One commentator, an atheist who writes for the Examiner, regarding this case stated,
The church is so interested in protecting the lives of the unborn, it seems they lose sight of the humanity that is staring them right in the face. What about the rights of this little girl to live? I suppose it was God's will for that conception to take place. Therefore, it is not for man to undo it by abortion. And by this line of thinking, perhaps it was God's will for that poor little girl to be raped. And by God's hand that sick man was created and eventually placed in the presence of the little girl. And it was by God that that man was created in the image of God. And now, the church wants to evoke God in this case... where was God when this girl was allegedly raped? It is sickening that the church continues to place so much faith in their supposed loving mythical being that they would choose the unborn child over the living child. Where is the humanity in that?
So, it's safe to say this was a controversial case all around, and its cases like this that seem to give credence to the Pro-choicer's side of the argument. You see, when looking at this case with our natural, unaided human reason it seems quite easy to see it through the atheists eyes, that is, if God is responsible for the human life created in the womb of this little child, how then is He devoid of any responsibility when the girl was attacked by her stepfather, or how does He escape any culpability in threatening the life of this child by foreordaining this pregnancy to begin with?
However, the atheist needs to substantiate some claims on their side as well for any of their condemnation to make sense. For instance, when an atheist charges a person or an organization with being "in-human", what does that mean? I guess what I'm getting at is why is it more human (whatever that means) to save the life of the little girl, than that of the unborn child in her womb? I guess such questions, from any pragmatic or material sense are darn near impossible to answer. I mean, which is more valuable? Is there any way to quantify that? After all, the rules of identity demand that both be human, does it not?
Also, as for her life being in danger from the pregnancy, I believe that is overstating the original, albeit ambiguous, diagnosis from her doctor who said, ""We don't know if she will develop the pregnancy up to the end because of the structure of her body. It is a big risk for her,'' further saying, "She doesn't have a pelvis able to support a gestation of twins....'' He is certainly stating that her pregnancy has the potential to be dangerous to her health, but that ultimately he didn't know. However, the Church spokesman had a point in stating that her and her physician could at least try to carry the pregnancy as far as it could go and then attempt a cesarean. Why is it more "humane" to err on the side of death, rather than siding in error with life? After all, there are many, many couples out there who would love to adopt a child from any circumstance; could she not have put these twins up for adoption?
These are objective, legitimate, and logical questions that at least deserve an attempt at answering. I know it's considered in bad taste to "think" instead of "feel" about something, at least by today's standards, but we must use the gift God's given us in reasoning about a situation according to God's Word rather than reacting to it with raw human emotion. And so, given the precepts of Christianity, given the sanctity of ALL human life as affirmed by God's Word, the Arch-Bishop did rightly by the Word of God in exercising the Office of the Keys and excommunicating the mother and the doctors complicit in this act of murder.
And, let it be said, the act of excommunication should never be done in the attitude of moral superiority, but one of extreme love and care for the soul under the pastors keep. This is true compassion, namely that excommunication, Biblically speaking, is meant as a "last-ditch" effort to work repentance in the heart of the faithless, and that is exactly what her mother indeed was, and perhaps still is; faithless. Her mother was unwilling to see that this child growing in the womb of her daughter was given life by God and none other, even in spite of the heinous act committed against her daughter by the girls stepfather. If she had seen this clearly, that is, only through the eyes of faith, she would have done everything in her power to keep both her daughter and unborn grandchildren alive, even if it meant public ridicule, personal scorn, and strife. Such is the life of the Christian; we must pick up our cross daily, do we not?.
You see, there is a fate worse than anything we can endure in this world, it is the fate of being hopelessly and permanently separated from God because of our sin. This can only come about by personally blaspheming the Holy Spirit, that is, as an act of persistent denial of God's forgiveness given us in Christ. And, like I said, I hope on behalf of the Arch-Bishop that he, in excommunicating them, is doing it in the attitude of bringing about repentance for their sin. This means that the forgiveness of sins not be withheld from them if they in fact repent. Let's pray that these people, in the midst of a horrible ordeal, will in fact see their evil acts as evil and confess their sins so as to receive the mercy of God given us in Christ.