Protect mother and baby, say Costa Rican bishops

.- The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Costa Rica issued a strong statement this week demanding authorities protect women who are victims of rape and to care for the children who are conceived in such circumstances with the same intensity.

In the statement entitled, "Rape and Abortion," Bishop Jose Francisco Ulloa Rojas, representing all the country’s bishops, referred to the recent cases of sexual assaults against minors "that have filled our country with sorrow and indignation" and underscored that "as the Church of the Lord, we share in the feelings of our people and, while we raise our voice against such abominable attacks, we call on the corresponding authorities not to let such crimes go unpunished."

After expressing the bishops’ solidarity with the families of the victims-one of whom became pregnant after the assault-Bishop Rojas reiterated to those who use such cases to push for the legalization of abortion that the "deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of his life is always morally wrong and can never be licit neither as an end nor as a means to a good end."

The bishop also notes that "it has not been clearly shown up to now that serious psychological trauma in a woman who has become pregnant involuntarily can be cured through abortion; rather, experience seems to indicate that abortion as a psychological remedy is much more harmful to the mother as the pain of the assault is combined with the unavoidable conflict of having carried out a murder. Abortion neither remedies the rape nor gives peace to the conscience, nor does it heal psychological wounds," the bishop said.

Likewise, he maintained "if in the worst case scenario the mother who conceived through rape continues to reject her child after he is born, prudence and proportionality seem to indicate that the best thing would be to legislate in favor of the helpless and the innocent and not in favor of accepting homicide as something legal."

Bishop Rojas also reminded Costa Ricans that it is their responsibility "as a united people, to provide all of the necessary material, medical, psychological and spiritual support for both the young girl and the innocent child she carries in her womb so that they can continue on with their lives."

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