Vatican Supports Brazilian Catholic Church for Excommunicating those who Aided Raped Child
A senior Vatican cleric defended the Catholic Church of Brazil's plans to excommunicate those who aided a child pregnant as a result of rape. According to the BBC, the church plans to excommunicate the girl's mother and several doctors who helped to secure a medically necessary abortion for the girl, who is 9 years old and became pregnant with twins after being raped by her stepfather.
Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, who leads the Church's Congregation for Bishops told an Italian newspaper that "It is a sad case but the real problem is that the twins conceived were two innocent persons, who had the right to live and could not be eliminated….life must always be protected, the attack on the Brazilian Church is unjustified."
Abortion is legal in Brazil only in cases of rape or when the mother's life would be endangered. Both conditions appear to have been true in this case. One of the girl's doctors, Olimpio Moraes, told Reuters that "as doctors, we could not allow a girl of 9 to suffer like this or until she paid with her own life."
The Brazilian Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao also told Reuters "I believe the position of the church is extreme, radical, and inadequate….I am shocked by the radical position of this religion which, wrongly saying it is defending a life, puts another life in danger that is as important as any other."
Media Resources: BBC 3/6/09, 3/7/09; Reuters 3/5/09
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .