Rousseff changes her position on abortion, which costs her two points
[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for October 7, 2010. See original article here.]
by Arturo Cano
Rio de Janeiro, October 6 – At the beginning of last year, Brazilian media gave prominence to a terrible story: a nine-year-old girl, raped by her stepfather and pregnant with twins, received an abortion in a public clinic in Pernambuco. The doctors had determined that in her case the two exceptional circumstances in Brazilian law were met: the life of the young mother was in danger and the pregnancy was the result of rape
The reaction of the Catholic Church, represented in this case by the archbishop of Recife and Olinda, José Cardoso, left no doubt about how far the Brazilian hierarchy would go in its “defense of life”: it excommunicated the doctors and the girl’s family members, except for the stepfather who had abused the child since she was six years old. “We consider it illicit to end one life to save another,” declared the Catholic hierarch in his final judgement on the episode.
When this case is taken into account, things did not go so badly for Dilma Rousseff, the Workers’ Party candidate, and Lula’s, for the Brazilian presidency. The war against her because of her support for decriminalizing abortion, on which she reversed herself in the campaign, cost her only two points in the first round of the election, according to some polls.
But although Rousseff would like to end this chapter, the more conservative sectors of the churches (the Catholic and the numerous evangelicals) are not going to let go of it from now until October 31, the date of the runoff election.
Besides, now they have an invaluable ally in José Serra, the Social Democrat Party candidate and Rousseff’s opponent. (more…)