Part One of a Three Part Series

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

RECIFE, BRAZIL, March 20, 2009 ( – An international pro-abortion organization conspired with pro-abortion hospital staff to bring about the now famous abortion on a nine-year-old Brazilian girl, according to witnesses.

LifeSiteNews has also learned that, contrary to the claims repeated in Brazil’s mainstream media, the hospital where she was originally admitted has publicly acknowledged that her life was not in danger at the time the abortion was performed.

The abortion, which drew international media attention when the local archbishop excommunicated the participants, was carried out after it was learned that an unnamed child was pregnant with twins after having been raped by her stepfather over several years. He confessed to the crime and is now in custody.

Although fellow Brazilian bishops and even a Vatican official have distanced themselves from the excommunication, accounts from witnesses and public statements made to the media indicate that the reasons given to justify the abortion are far from accurate.

According to Fr. Edson Rodrigues, a Catholic priest from the child’s hometown of Alagoinha was present during much of the ordeal, the girl’s parents both clearly stated their opposition to abortion in general and the abortion in particular proposed for their own child. However, after the child was admitted to the Institute of Children’s Medicine of Pernambuco (IMIP), she and her mother were isolated by hospital staff, who declared that an abortion was necessary to save her daughter’s life.

On February 28, “we arrived at the IMIP around 3 pm,” writes Rodrigues in a statement on the website of his home diocese of Pesqueira. We went up to the fourth floor where the child and her mother were in an isolated room. The access to the room was restricted, requiring special authorization.”

“Members of the Tutelary Council [Brazil’s child protective services] barely had access to the room. Other than they, people linked to the hospital. That being the situation the councilors Jeanne Oilveira, of Recife, and Maria Jose Gomes of our city had access to the reserved area,” continues Rodrigues.

“With the prohibition of access to the room where the child was, I found myself with the mother there in the corridor. Profoundly and visibly shaken by the situation, she explained to me that she had signed ‘some papers over there’. The mother is illiterate and doesn’t sign her name, having been called to place her fingerprints on the documents in question.”

“I asked her about her thinking regarding abortion. Moved by a maternal sentiment marked by extreme concern for the child, she told me about her unfavorable position towards carrying out an abortion. This was also heard by Robson Jose de Carvalho, a member of our parochial council who accompanied us that day to the hospitalâEUR¦we went out, therefore, from the IMIP with a firm conviction that the mother of the child had showed herself to be completely unfavorable towards the abortion of her grandchildren, even stating that ‘no one has the right to kill anyone, only God.'”

The following Monday Fr. Rodrigues arrived with the girl’s father, who had clearly stated his opposition to an abortion, and two tutelary counselors. The group attempted to make their way to the fourth floor to visit the mother and child, but were stopped.

Fr. Rodrigues writes that “when we arrived at the first floor, a functionary of IMIP interrupted our trip and asked us to leave the elevator and go to the Social Assistance area in another building. Arriving there we were received by a young social assistant named Karolina Rodrigues.”

Fr. Rodrigues notes that, despite the fact that the father had not consented to an abortion, the social assistant informed the group that “based on the consent signed by the mother of the girl in favor of abortion, the medical procedures must be carried out by the IMIP within a few days. Without understanding well what was happening, I questioned the assistant about the legal basis for this. Although she wasn’t a doctor, she gave us a rather difficult diagnosis of the child, according to her, based on medical opinion, although nothing had been given us in writing.”

After discovering that the father was present, the social assistant insisted on speaking to him alone, without the presence of Fr. Rodrigues or the two tutelary counselors, according to Rodrigues. After 25 minutes of conversation, the father changed his mind, Rodrigues says. He states that the father later told him that he had been informed that without the abortion, his daughter would die, and so it was better to abort the unborn twins.

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