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Rabid Church groups furious at aborting minor's baby
Constantin Stoica of the Romanian Orthodox Church had opined that conducting abortion on a minor girl was an exceptional situation, which must be treated in an exceptional manner and the family is the only one to take this decision.

IN JANUARY this year, an 11-year-old girl in the European Union (EU) country Romania, had an experience that is not too rare in ‘modern’ permissive society. Her 19-year-old uncle was the culprit and the family, sensibly, preferred to bury the matter. That was so until early June, when the parents took her to a doctor as she appeared sick. She was found positive for pregnancy. Then began the real ordeal.

Romania is known for extremely orthodox pro-life churches and has strict laws against medical termination of pregnancies (MTP) of over 14 weeks. It even had absolute prohibition on any abortion during the reign of mercurial communist dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu. Romanian women travel to other countries for MTP. Abortion tourism is a thriving business like in the other purist Catholic country, Ireland.

Predictably, there was a big furore from child rights groups, general public, church groups and the medical community with predominantly missionary-style education. The official view of the Romanian Orthodox Church was that the decision should be left to the girl’s family.

However, most of its constituents bitterly opposed any sanction of ‘homicide’ of the foetus. They offered to rear the child in a church institution if the family was unable to care for it.

Philanthropists were prepared to extend any ’material, spiritual and psychological help’ to the girl’s family. Some 20 pro-life Christian Orthodox groups threatened to press charges of murder against the doctors and the government if the girl was permitted to undergo abortion. The parents initially wanted to travel to a country where abortion would be legal even though it was not quite safe to travel. A Romanian resident of UK, where the legal limit for abortions is up to 24 weeks’ gestation, offered to fly her there. But, that too was unacceptable to zealots who felt that it would amount to murder of a ‘Catholic life’ anyway.

A religiously oriented gynaecologist said, "many babies have been born at not many more weeks than she is now and have lived...this would be a partial birth abortion choice...the baby would be birthed most of the way and then maybe killed suddenly."

A typical parish sermon ran: "This poor girl, our heart goes out to her; however, yes, this is a life...this little child growing inside of the child. The life inside of her may be the result of an incest pregnancy; however, it is still a life...a precious little life...just like her precious little life that has changed dramatically…she must be so scared...I will put her on my prayer list and I invite you all to do the same...this decision will be a hard one...I hope she chooses life."

Several good samaritans said: "There are many out here that would be willing to adopt that little one and give the child a good home.... May the Lord wrap His loving arms around her as she goes through such a difficult time."

Religion, undoubtedly, causes inexplicable and bizarre perversions of reason and logic. In India too, there was an honourable Punjab and Haryana High Court judge who interpreted the Indian Constitution in a case against a butcher: "According to millenniums of sentiments and values imbibed by us Indians, killing a cow is the same as matricide!" But luckily, there were people within Romania who ridiculed ’the Lord’s loving arms’ and exclaimed, "How many does he have..., two? Why not Shiva? Shiva’s got eight!"

A committee was set up by the government, consisting of officials, experts and representatives of Church. The committee finally ended the girl’s agony on June 26. It dismissed the fervent opposition from church groups and ruled on the case, allowing the MTP in Romania itself. The ruling was made easier by the disappearance of the uncle of the girl. She told the doctor that it was a case of rape by the teenager. A government official on the committee said, "We are talking about.... the rights of this child who was subjected to rape and incest."

Constantin Stoica, spokesman for the Romanian Orthodox Church, which claims following among 80 per cent of Romanians, had opined that it was, "an exceptional situation which must be treated in an exceptional manner and the family is the only one to take this decision." He, however, clarified that the church considers abortion a crime, but this belief applies to normal circumstances and not to incest or rape.

The case of the pre-teen who would, hopefully, get on with life after the six-month agony highlights some pertinent issues for pondering by pro-Leftist zealots: "Does the girl have an obligation to carry the foetus full term and deliver (she may abandon the newborn to the care of some good samaritans or let the Lord wrap His loving arms around it!) supposing if she was not eleven but 18-plus years of age, and had got pregnant upon rape by an uncle or someone else or it was not a case of rape, but the child had had consensual sex?"

Between fanatic fundamentalists like the Taliban of Afghanistan, saffron culture vultures of India and the rabid Catholic clergy, there seems to be no difference. By insisting on their right to decide for others, all of them practice unacceptable violence on their detractors in the name of God!

It is the mother, father and the family who can be the judge on what is best under the circumstances for the existing life and the yet-to-arrive life. And, it is for the girl herself to take the final decision. If she thinks that the baby within her is Christ Himself and wants to let Him use her womb for full term, it should be no one else’s business to interfere. Again, if any pregnant woman wants to abort the foetus in her womb, at anytime for any (or no) reason, she may be advised or informed by experts and moralists of the risk factors. The decision to keep it or dump it can only be hers.

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