07/07/2017, 15.08
INDIA
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Supreme Court allows abortion at the 26th week. Bishop Fernandes: Life is sacred

by Nirmala Carvalho

Judges welcome the request of a 33-year-old due to "psychological harm". The baby, if born, would have serious cardiac complications. Auxiliary Bishop of Mumbai: "God is the author of life." "If people are no longer useful or considered as a weight, they try to eliminate them."

 Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The Supreme Court of India has accepted a 26-week pregnant woman's request to end the pregnancy due to serious heart failure. On July 3, the judges Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar motivated their decision with the possible "deep psychological damages" to which the mother, a 33-year-old Calcutta woman, could incur.

Commenting to AsiaNews Msgr. Savio Fernandes, Auxiliary Bishop of Mumbai, and President of the Commission on the Family of the Indian Bishops Conference, states: "The Catholic Church considers human life sacred from the beginning to the end. No one under no circumstances can afford the right to destroy an innocent human being."

The judgment has provoked out roar. According to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971, pregnancy interruption is allowed in India until the 20th week. Over this period, abortion may only be allowed if gestation constitutes a danger to the mother and the fetus. Bishop Fernandes, who is also president of the Diocesan Commission for the Family and Human Life, recalls that "abortion is a profound evil for the teachings of the Catholic Church, as it is the killing of a helpless and innocent human being ". "God - the bishop underlined - is the author of life and he who created humans in his image and likeness. Therefore, human life must be respected and protected in an absolute way, from conception to the natural end of existence. The Church is not in favor of abortion under any circumstances, because eliminating an innocent human life is always a bad thing. "

Bishop Fernandes argues that "unfortunately the life of a still unborn person, the sick and the elderly, the needy and the disabled, is seen in terms of 'utility'. If people are no longer useful or considered as a weight, they try to eliminate them. " Instead, he points out that "God, who created us in his image and likeness, has infused his life into us. Therefore every person on this earth carries his mold. Every human person - young or old, mentally or physically disabled, healthy or sick - must be respected and treated with dignity and love, precisely because they carry the imprint of God. " According to the bishop, the judges of the Supreme Court "only assessed the mental health of the mother. But the unborn, the disabled, the sick, the elder and all living beings must be sustained and protected. " "For us – he concludes - the challenge is always finding new ways and means to give Jesus love for all people. The Church in India is an ardent defender of the culture of life and cares [for children] lovingly through different homes and orphanages, such as those of Mother Teresa's nuns. The Missionaries of Charity have many reception centers and would be happy to take care of them."

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