Brazilian Supreme Court Ends Hearings Stacked in Favor of Eugenic Abortions
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
BRASILIA, September 23, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Brazil's last round of Supreme Court hearings on the issue of eugenic abortions ended Tuesday of last week with more controversial testimony by government witnesses.
As in previous hearings, which have been stacked in favor of the pro-abortion position, witnesses gave testimony that contradicts the statements of medical organizations about anencephaly, in which babies are born without part of their upper brain matter and skull and which some are arguing should be permitted to be aborted.
Luis Roberto Barroso, an attorney with the pro-abortion National Confederation of Health Care Workers, repeated the claim earlier made by Brazilian Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao that anencephaly can be detected in the womb with 100% accuracy, a claim contradicted by the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs of the American Medical Association, which has noted that "misdiagnoses of infants as anencephalic have been documented in the medical literature and detected by surveillance programs."
Moreover, doctors are still arguing over whether Marcela Ferreira, who died after one and a half years of life, and around whom a great deal of the abortion debate has swirled, was actually anencephalic (See: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08060502.html). The pro-abortion side has submitted testimony that she actually wasn't, which has in turn undermined its claim to be able to easily diagnose the condition in the womb.
The undersecretary of Justice, testifying on behalf of the administration of Luiz Lula da Silva, also claimed that "100% of cases" of anencephaly die "in the first hours" of life, despite the fact that anencephalic babies often live for days or weeks, and sometimes even years, in their condition.
During the four rounds of hearings the Supreme Court heard testimony by a total of 26 witnesses, 16 of them in favor of eugenic abortions, and 10 against. Although Supreme Court Justice Marcus Aurelio Mello had previously predicted a quick approval vote by the Court, last week he appeared to be retreating from his previous confident statement, admitting that "only with much optimism could I maintain the hope for November."
The current case began four years ago, initiated by the National Confederation of Health Workers, but was shelved after it became apparent that there were not sufficient votes to support it. Mello revived the case in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling in favor of allowing embryonic stem cell research earlier this year, stating that he believed the court was now ready to rule in favor of abortions.
With the completion of the hearings, the case will now be reviewed by the Federal Public Ministry (Justice Department) of Brazil, whose undersecretary, Mario Gise, has already stated his opinion that it is "torture" to prohibit women from obtaining abortions in the case of anencephalic pregnancies. It will also be reviewed by the General Advocacy of the Union, the agency charged with handling legal issues for the government.
Related LifeSiteNews Coverage:
Brazilian Health Minister Gives False Testimony in Eugenic Abortion Case
Catholic Bishops Denounce Attempt to Legalize Eugenic Abortion in Brazil
Brazilian Supreme Court Hears Testimony on Eugenic Abortions
Brazilian Anencephalic Baby Shatters Pro-Abortion Myths