April 4, 2012 ( – Demonstrations by the pro-life organization Brazil Without Abortion have begun outside of the Supreme Federal Tribunal of Brazil as the date approaches for a decision on permitting abortions for anencephalic babies.

Defenders of the unborn are deeply concerned about the case, which will be decided by ministers largely appointed by leaders of the pro-abortion Labor Party. The final vote is scheduled for April 11.

“I don’t see the possibility of a victory for life in the upcoming vote,” Brazilian pro-life activist Julio Severo told, “not because I am a pessimist, but because one of the ministers has already declared that those who defend abortion for babies suffering from anencephaly will have a big victory.”

Severo also noted that all of the Supreme Federal Tribunal’s 11 ministers were appointed by pro-abortion presidents, and observed that “there are powerful government forces pushing for legal abortion.”

The case, which has been on hold since 2008, will be overseen by an openly pro-abortion minister who has stated publicly that he regards the case as a “hook” for entering into a wider examination of abortion and euthanasia as a “right.”

In an interview with Veja magazine that year, in an office surrounded by Catholic sacred images, Supreme Tribunal Minister Marco Aurélio Mello said “the topic of anencephaly is a hook for discussing more extensive and borderline situations.”

“In my opinion, cases of interruption of the gestation of an anencephalic and those of abortion in a more extensive form, when the pregnancy is not desired, have an important point in common: the right of the woman to decide about her own life,” said Mellow who added that “the principle that is at stake in these situations is the right to liberty.”

Babies with anencephaly are partially or completely lacking in upper brain matter, and are born with a large opening at the top of their skulls. The rarely survive more than week after birth, although some have lived for several months with the condition.

Although they are often regarded as lacking any mental activity, the testimony of parents of anencephalic babies often contradicts this perception.

A Brazilian girl, Marcela Ferreira, lived 20 months outside the womb with anencephaly, from 2007 to 2008. Despite the absence of most of her upper brain matter, she sucked her thumb, cried for her mother, and responded to other family members.  Her behavior was so contrary to conventional wisdom on anencephaly that it led at least one physician to deny that she had the condition, despite a diagnosis by multiple doctors.

Various pro-life organizations reportedly plan to begin a prayer vigil at 6 pm on April 10 in the Plaza of the Three Powers in front of the Supreme Federal Tribunal, which will last until all ministers have voted the following day, according to the Catholic news service ACI Digital.

ACI Digital also reports that on the same day, a pro-life Twitter campaign will be directed to the Tribunal, whose address is @STF_oficial, with the hashtags #anencefalo and #avidaporumfio.


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