.- Catholics for a Free Choice is releasing the results of a poll in Brazil which, according to the feminist pro-abortion group, allegedly shows popular support for abortion, but which in reality does not shed any new light on the debate surrounding the legalization of the practice in that country. According to CFC, the latest poll by Ibope on abortion reveals that “the majority of Brazilian Catholics are in favor of abortion in cases of life of the mother” and they want the Church to reverse its position on contraception and condoms.
“The poll was surprisingly positive. Catholics had a more liberal position than Brazilians in general. Today we have a Catholic Church trying to influence public policy when its own base does not follow these positions. In whose name is the hierarchy speaking?” asked CFC director Dulce Xavier.
Among those polled by Ibope who said they were Catholics, 82% said they were in favor of abortion in cases of life of the mother—even though modern medicine has all but eliminated such cases—80% said they supported abortion in cases of deformity and 67% were in favor for cases of rape and incest.
What CFC does not say is that the Ibope poll revealed that public opinion in general about the complete legalization of abortion in Brazil has dropped from 10% to 3%. Abortion in cases of life of the mother is already permitted by the Constitution and is not a matter of debate in the country.
According to pro-life analysts, by attempting to portray a “divorce” between the faithful and the hierarchy, CFC is seeking to create confusion in the media and among the faithful in order to discredit the Church’s position on the defense of life.
The head of the Philosophy Department at the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro, Estevao Bettencourt, reiterated that Catholic moral teaching must be adhered to by the faithful. “It is sad to see that pragmatism, instant gratification, disrespect for human life as such are prevailing." “We oppose abortion because from the moment of conception a new human being with the right to life exists,” he said.