192,445 girls from 10 to 14 years old gave birth between 2000 and 2006 in Brazil
Although pro-abortion organizations and doctors often claim that pregnancies at an early age threaten the life of the mother, statistics from Brazil itself indicate a level of maternal mortality for girls ages 10-14 that is much lower than that of the general population.
Investigative report By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent
See Part I at http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09032018.html
RECIFE, BRAZIL, March 24, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - After learning that hospital staff at the Institute of Children's Medicine of Pernambuco (IMIP) were seeking to manipulate the parents of a pregnant nine year old to approve an abortion for their child, Fr. Edson Rodrigues says that officials at the IMIP sought to deny all access to the parents and child by the tutelary counselors (representatives of the local child protective services) and to Fr. Rodrigues himself.
However, following the father's exit from the facility, Fr. Rodrigues says that he and the two tutelary counselors were able to talk to him. The father, Erivaldo Francisco, said that he had been convinced of the necessity of an abortion by a social assistant named Karolina Rodrigues, a woman with no medical expertise. Despite headlines in the local newspaper claiming that he and the girl's mother were being guided by a team of medical experts at the hospital, he acknowledged that he had not spoken to a single doctor.
But what Francisco had been told was false. In fact, as the IMIP would later admit publicly, his daughter was in no danger at the time the abortion took place. Moreover, Brazil's own statistics reveal that pregnancies for girls 14 and under have a lower mortality rate than women as a whole.
According to statistics provided by the pro-abortion Grupo Curumim and derived from the Brazilian government's DATASUS/MS service, 192,445 girls from 10 to 14 years old gave birth between 2000 and 2006 in Brazil, while 105 died during pregnancy, birth, or having an abortion, that is, 55 out of 100,000 (http://grupocurumim.blogspot.com/2009/03/coletiva-sobre-caso-da-menina-de.html). Even if one were to assume that none of the deaths were caused by induced abortions, an unlikely assumption, this mortality rate is lower than the average maternal mortality rate for all ages in Brazil, which is 75 out of 100,000 (see http://tabnet.datasus.gov.br/cgi/idb2007/c03.htm).
The rate may be lower because such cases, being relatively uncommon, receive special attention in Brazil. Hospitals monitor such pregnancies closely, and a cesarean section can be done to protect the child from the rigors of giving birth.
Dr. Elizabeth Kipman Cerqueira, a Brazilian obstetrician, said in a public statement on the case that "I don't know anyone who died because of the young age at which she was impregnated, if she received adequate accompaniment," and that she personally knows of cases of 10 year olds who gave birth and are in good health. She added that the abortion is likely to do serious damage to the girl psychologically, and noted that early labor could have been induced at some point after 22 weeks, rather than an abortion. The twins were already at over 20 week's gestation when they were killed.
Ironically, at the same time that the IMIP staff was seeking an abortion for their young Brazilian patient, a nine year old girl in Peru was giving birth successfully, becoming the youngest mother in Peru. She had been sexually abused by a relative, and would be receiving counseling and financial assistance from the Peruvian government, the AP reported (see article in Portuguese at http://noticias.uol.com.br/ultnot/afp/2006/12/02/ult34u169397.jhtm).
However, despite the lack of danger to the mother, pro-abortion physicians at the highest levels of the hospital were conspiring to bring about the death of her unborn twins. Vilma Guimares, the coordinator of IMIP's Center for Attention for Women, was publicly advocating an abortion as early as February 27, even though she admitted that she had never examined the girl. "In situations of pregnancies that carry risks for the mother it is better to interrupt the pregnancy," she told the Diario de Pernambuco newspaper. Based on such a standard, abortions could be justified in all pregnancies, because pregnancy always carries some degree of risk.
Fr. Rodigues notes that Vilma Guimares was one of only two people who had access to the mother and her daughter at IMIP, the other being the hospital's director, Antonio Figueiras. It is unknown if Guimares induced the child's mother to give consent to the abortion.
Following the events at the IMIP, Rodrigues and the tutelary counselors contacted Bishop Francisco Biasin of Pesqueira, the diocese in which the child resided, and explained the situation. Biasin in turn contacted Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho of the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife, where the IMIP was located. The two began to confer with attorneys and doctors to determine what they could do to save the unborn twins living inside the girl. During the period in which the controversy raged Archbishop Cardoso says he was working 15 hours a day on the case.
Cardoso held a meeting on the morning of March 3rd in the episcopal residence, attended by the director of the IMIP, Antonio Figueiras. After being informed of the manipulative behavior of hospital staff, Figueiras agreed to cancel plans to carry out an abortion on the twins at his facility.
In addition, the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife began legal proceedings to stop the abortion. On the afternoon of March 3, Figueiras and Erivaldo both appeared before the Tribunal of Justice of the State of Pernambuco, and the presiding judge reportedly expressed his desire to prevent the abortions from occurring. Erivaldo Francisco became convinced that he had made a mistake in consenting to the abortion, and signed a statement withdrawing permission for the procedure, which he delivered to the hospital. The hospital publicly acknowledged to the O Globo newspaper that permission to carry out the procedure had been withdrawn by Francisco.
However, in the interim, Archbishop Cardoso had received a call from Figueiras, Rodrigues reports. Members of a pro-abortion feminist organization, Grupo Curumim, had entered the hospital with two technicians from the Secretary of Health of the State of Pernambuco, and had convinced the mother to sign her daughter out of the hospital. Rodrigues says he was told that she then left, accompanied by the pro-abortion Vilma Guimares. The hospital would claim that it did not know where they had gone, and had no means of contacting Guimares.
Grupo Curumim, which agitates for the legalization of abortion in Brazil, is an organization funded by the international pro-abortion lobby, notes Alberto Monteiro, a prominent Brazilian pro-life activist.
"Grupo Curumim affirms that it is an organization whose work is financed by the IWHC, or International Woman's Health Coalition...the IWHC is a feminist entity and one of the biggest international promoters of clandestine abortions," writes Monteiro in an open email on the case. "The entity was practically funded by Adrianne German, a sociologist who before having founded the IWHC had worked for the Population Council of New York, one of the Rockefeller organizations that developed, in the 1950s, all of the work on population control and the promotion of abortion which we see today at the international level without knowing where these things come from. "
When asked by the newspaper O Globo about releasing the girl from the hospital, the newspaper reports that "the hospital argues that it was obligated to let her go, given that the child did not run the risk of death and that is the right of the child's guardian," thus admitting publicly that the child was not, in fact, in danger of death (see original article in Portuguese at http://oglobo.globo.com/pais/cidades/mat/2009/03/04/igreja-catolica-tenta-impedi...).
Arriving at the hospital with Francisco and a physician and psychologist sent by the Archdiocese, Rodrigues reports that after being made to wait, they were told that the child had been removed by her mother, and no one knew where they had gone. Rodrigues held a press conference denouncing the transfer.
The next day, March 4, the press revealed that the child had been taken to the Amaury de Medeiros Integral Health Center (Centro Integrado de Saúde Amaury de Medeiros, or CISAM) of the University of Pernambuco. There, the openly pro-abortion medical staff had aborted the twins.
Dr. Rivaldo Mendes de Albuquerque, who performed the abortions, stated openly that the case "showed that the question of abortion is a matter of public health in Brazil, and must be considered case-by-case. Restrictive laws do not improve public health, particularly women's health," in an interview with the BBC.
He also claimed in the same interview that "the religious laws were written by the clerics, and do not translate God's words exactly. That gave us peace of mind, and we recognized that the Catholic Church has made, and continues to make, mistakes, and especially with regard to women's rights in Brazil and the rest of the world. The Church is meddling inappropriately into these rights, which are internationally recognized human rights."
See Part III at http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09032514.html