Brasilia (Fides Service) - The standing council of the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference issued a statement with the title “the right to be born” expressing clearly the Catholic position in defence of life. In the short statement dated 10 November, the Bishops say they do not approve a proposed law n° 1135/91 which intends to give every woman “the right to interrupt pregnancy” and therefore legalise abortion. “This is an open attack on the human person’s right to life” the Bishops said. “This is a violation of human rights which provokes the collapse of social and juridical order and opens the way for many other moral abuses” the Brazilian Bishops affirmed.
In this perspective, the Bishops said “it is urgent to reaffirm on the basis of scientific facts that human life starts at the moment of conception. From that moment the human embryo has his or her own genetic patrimony and immune system and grows continually in a co-ordinated and progressive manner”. Therefore every human life must be respected and protected from conception to natural end. “A law which allows the elimination of the most helpless and vulnerable of human beings is unacceptable”. The law is incoherent with the question of human rights “because it contradicts itself, defending rights of others it denies the fundamental right to be born and to live”.
Therefore a mother has no right to interrupt pregnancy even when the unborn child is diagnosed as suffering from some disease or malformation, because he or she has nevertheless personal human dignity. Just as the life of the mother must be protected, respected and assisted, the same is true of the life of the child she bears. The Bishops end the statement recalling the sacred right of objection of conscience for doctors and nurses who refuse to exercise their profession against their moral principles. Medical institutions have the same right. (RZ) (Agenzia Fides 15/11/2005, righe 24, parole 332)