Brazilian Supreme Court May Approve Constitutionality of Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Pro-Lifers Asked to Email Justices to Urge them to Vote to Protect the Rights of the Unborn
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
BRASILIA, May 27, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Brazilian Supreme Court is scheduled to begin voting again on the constitutionality of a law allowing embryonic stem cell research.
The vote, which commenced on March 5th of this year, was delayed when Justice Carlos Alberto Menezes Direito made a motion for a "vista", which allows a review of the facts before a vote is cast. Menezes Direito is believed to be pro-life.
Despite the deadly nature of embryonic stem cell research, which destroys human life at its earliest stage, most of the justices are believed to be inclined to allow it. On March 5th the vote stood at 2-0 in favor of the law.
However, the Constitution of Brazil states that "All are equal before the law, without any distinction whatsoever, guaranteeing Brazilians and alien residents in the country the inviolable right to life, liberty, equality, security and priority."
Despite seemingly difficult odds, Brazilian pro-life organizations are making a serious effort to persuade the justices to strike down the law and protect the unborn. It is feared that if the law is upheld, abortion may ultimately be ruled "constitutional" based on the precedent.
The Catholic news agency ACI Prensa reports that 200 federal deputies (representatives) and 20 senators have signed a petition to the court contending that the basis for the vote given by one of the justices is false. Justice Carlos Ayres Britto justified his vote based on the notion that embryos frozen for more than three years are not viable. However, there is no known limit to the viability of frozen embryos.
Brazilian and Hispanic pro-life organizations have issued a call to pro-lifers to contact the justices and urge them to vote in favor of human life. Emails may be written in English or Portuguese (knowledge of English is common among educated Latin Americans).
Email Addresses of the Justices of the Brazilian Supreme Court (can be copied and pasted into email "To" box:
Individual Email Addresses:
MINISTER GILMAR MENDES
MINISTER CEZAR PELUSO
MINISTER MARCO AURÉLIO
MINISTER JOAQUIM BARBOSA
MINISTER EROS GRAU
MINISTER CARLOS BRITTO
MINISTER RICARDO LEWANDOWSKI
MINISTER CELSO DE MELLO
MINISTER MENEZES DIREITO
MINISTER CÁRMEN LÚCIA
MINISTER ELLEN GRACIE