Bishop Odilo Pedro Sherer, secretary general of the Bishops Conference of Brazil, explained during a televised debate this week the Church’s and the Pro-life community’s opposition to the decision by a Federal Court to allow abortion in cases of anencephaly.
During the debate which was broadcast on Brazilian national television, Bishop Sherer said that “despite the malformation, we are talking about a human being.”
“We realize the fetus that suffers from anencephaly cannot survive outside the mother’s womb, but we are talking about a living human being, and life should be respected because it is life and not because of the possibilities of survival,” he added.
“The question of life and death,” he explained, “should take its natural course. To say that life begins after birth seems impossible to me in the scientific context in which we are living.”
The debate on the decision by the Federal Court to allow abortion in cases of anencephaly—when a baby develops without a brain—also included the participation of Paulo Leao, President of the Union of Catholic Jurists, who pointed out that “as in other cases which involve abortion, a human life must be respected, without considering the possibility of a longer or shorter life span.”