Ten years later, legalizing abortion in cases of anencephaly is an act of abuse

When the Federal Supreme Court (STF) decided ten years ago that abortion of anencephalic embryos was not a crime, it made several serious mistakes, according to jurists and doctors.

One of them is to play the role of legislator – commonly referred to as “legal activism” – a practice that hurts the separation of powers foreseen in a democracy. As a result of this act of STF, another case of miscarriage has been created – the other two being the rape and endangering the mother’s life.

The decision of the judiciary did not allow for a broader debate on the matter with society and did not take place in the right place: the National Congress.

Another misconception is the execution of viable children – the diagnosis of anencephaly is not always accurate and many infants can be “rejected” without proper care. In the same way, another flaw is the possibility of eugenics, that is, only the “most perfect” is allowed to live. Another factor that is often overlooked is the psychological effect of a woman aborting her own child.

The decision by the STF has helped other judicial instances to understand that abortion is legal for infants with certain diseases, most of which have an unexpected outcome. Since April 2012, using the STF’s decision, several magistrates have allowed the death of children by miscarriage because they present a “risk” that is not viable outside the womb.

In the case of anencephaly, characterized by the absence of a skull, it is possible to identify the problem by 12 weeks of gestation. But it is possible that the diagnosis may not be accurate.

“There is absolutely no ability to predict the future. So we have cases of surviving children for a few years. There is no way to have a full prognosis as this is something that is in development. There are cases of total defect. Explains Lenis Garcia, president of the Without Abortion Movement, who also holds a PhD in microbiology and immunology.

And despite the assurance of a safe diagnosis, allowing abortions, the expert emphasizes, is not the only solution to facilitating abuse. There are more childless countries with Down syndrome. Eugenic mood is created. In one way, abortion of the child with anencephaly is also associated with euthanasia. The right to life is not considered, in addition to eugenics, the disregard for the right of the child.

Beyond legal abortion

Sergip state attorney Jose Paulo Veloso regrets that the decision was taken by the judiciary, but emphasizes that the Brazilian society as a whole does not approve of the individual’s death by the legislative branch. Of life. “The Legislature and the Judiciary cannot issue a death warrant, considering life as an unalterable right. The embryo is defenseless, innocent and has the right to live.

In the event of a fundamental rights clash, such as an abortion in children with anencephaly, the prosecutor argues that both the mother and the child should try to protect their lives – keep in mind that the mother is suffering physically and morally. Pregnancy termination, even if you decide to have a procedure. “The STF has ruled that forcing the mother to continue pregnancy during anencephaly can violate her fundamental rights. [do bebê]. When you destroy the baby to protect the mother, you are not giving the fetus any rights.

The prosecutor says that being a living person – not a dead one – guarantees the protection of life provided in the statute as long as the embryo waits its natural end, as some ministers argued in the 2012 ruling. “When I establish the criteria for what human life is, the opportunities begin to be infinite. The man must be protected and safe from the moment of conception. If you do not use this criterion, the possibilities are endless and human life begins to weaken,” the prosecutor explains.

Philosophy also presents arguments against the decision of the STF. According to Mario Ribeiro, professor of philosophy and master of law, personality-activism theory influenced this criminalization, with an emphasis on morality and the philosophy of law. “In the 20th century, some authors say that humanity is divided into two parts: rational people and, on the other hand, illogical people – do not exercise reason. The problem is that rational people have rights and that rational people have no rights. , Because he does not run the cause.

“You will only become a rational being after birth. In this way, the Supreme states that because they do not have the brain or the nervous structure is not complete and therefore, they are not the person. If you are a person, you have less right to be a mother.

The risk of imitating Brazil Colombia

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) emphasizes that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the individual. However, the Supreme Court’s ruling challenges this statement. And the possibility of abortions for children with other diseases may, in the future, give STF the opportunity to emulate Colombia. This country has criminalized infanticide by means of the judiciary – abortion for practically six months, when the child is practicable outside the womb.

Abortion groups seeking international resources to force the full legalization of abortion have had little success in Congress and, therefore, seek to impose a practice on the “carpet” through the courts. And the likelihood of rapid processing in the STF is high, given the frequent cases of judicial activity by ministers and their widely known positions on behalf of abortion.

“From the outset, the progressive goal is to increase the likelihood of abortion to the point of full criminalization. If society does not respond aggressively, in a very short time, the Federal Supreme Court will be able to fully legalize abortion,” says prosecutor Jose Paulo Veloso.

Mothers who went to the end

In cases of children with anencephaly, women carrying the pregnancy report the psychological benefits of accompanying the baby until the child’s natural death and the stress they experienced in having an abortion. For example, office assistant Kareena Medeiros found out she was pregnant in September 2020. Married and mother of an 8-year-old child at the time, Kareena was expecting her second child, a baby girl. However, at 12 weeks, Kareena’s doctor said she was carrying a baby with anencephaly. A resident of Itabela (BA), Bahian sought out a number of specialists and they all had the same diagnosis. After confirmation, experts suggested Kareena perform the abortion.

“They (the doctor) said the baby was ‘not fit for life.’

The Bahಯಾ’ ಮಹಿಳೆಯs woman refused to carry out the termination of pregnancy – another euphemism for abortion – and decided to continue the pregnancy. Kareena’s daughter Mariana was born in April 2021 and died after giving birth. Kareena believes this is the best decision to continue pregnancy despite the difficulties. “It’s a life and I see it as something I didn’t take,” he says.

Marcia Tominaga’s decision was to wait for the natural course of her son’s life, to honor his existence. She and her husband, Paulo Tominaga, discovered the pregnancy in December 2002. At 12 weeks, doctors diagnosed that the baby had acrakia, which leads to anencephaly. “The doctor prescribed an abortion, but, at the same time, I said I didn’t want to.” Their son Felipe was born on June 17, 2003. Over the course of 20 minutes of the life of Marcia and Paulo’s second child, the boy fell in love with his parents. According to Marcia, Felipe is fondly remembered by the couple’s 9 children.

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