It may seem that the arguments contrary to provoked abortion are exclusively religious issues. A more attentive reflection, however, will indicate directions from the very realm of science. Embryogenists have already identified in the zygote the presence of special mnemonic records ("imprints") that evidence the wealth of the human personality, in a very early manifestation, during embryogenesis. In Kardec's The Book of the Spirits, he asks the Spirits "When does the soul join the body?" And the answer in all its clarity is "... since the moment of conception the spirit assigned to inhabit a certain body gets attached to it by a very fluid bond ".(1)
Research have demonstrate the embryo's competence whether in its capacity to mentally manage itself, or to adapt to new situations, or to select situations and enjoy experiences. Thus, there are sound scientific reasons for abortion, mainly the "anencephalous" one. About that we remember that with biogenetic we have glimpsed the diversity as our greatest collective asset. And the abnormal embryo, although the bearer of a serious inadequacy (anencephaly), is part of that diversity. It should, therefore, be preserved and respected for many reasons.
The arguments as those to justify the death of the "anencephalous embryo" are the same that corroborate the subtraction of life of any person - or are there people with more life and others with less life? "The decision of the Brazilian Supreme Court in allow the performing of abortions in cases of anencephaly is not correct. The "anencephalous" is an intra-uterus living creature. It is born alive and dies within minutes, days, months or years. If it is born alive, the abortion is a crime, for it takes away its opportunity and experience of reincarnation".(2)
About abortion, in analysis of the geographic situation of Earth we would see that "the world is divided in three equal parts: a part that authorizes it without restrictions (34 countries), another part that only authorizes it in certain cases (37 countries) and a third part that doesn't authorize it at all (33 countries). In Latin America only Cuba authorizes abortion. Brazil, with the unfortunate ministerial decision, is the second Latin American country to authorize abortions for anencephalous embryos". (3)
Divaldo Franco ponders over the matter with the following remark: "abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, is immoral, according to the medical knowledge, the "anencephalous embryo" has a brief life or none. Thus, why interrupting the reparative process that life imposes to the spirit that reincarnates with that deficiency? Is it fair to prevent it from developing because of the pregnant woman's selfishness?". ( 4) The medium from Bahia remembers that "it is torturing for the mother who has inside her a being that will not live, but it is a suffering that is programmed by the Laws of Life ".(5) And adds that "according to spiritual benefactors, Earth has been receiving true legions of suffering and primary spirits, which were held in special regions and now have the opportunity to opt for the goodness for themselves ".(6)
The woman's right about her own body is evoked as an argument both for the decriminalization of abortion, which understands the child as a mother's property, without self identity, so she is the one who decides whether or not it will live. "There is no doubt about the woman's right to choose whether or not be a mother. She exercises that rights with all resources that the progresses in science has provided, before the conception, when another being's right also starts existing, that it the right of the one to be born, the right to life, which surpasses the other". (7)
We understand that the woman who generates an impaired fetus needs psychological help for a while. But it would be important that she moved her heart towards compassion and mercy, finding the real meaning of life. Especially because those children can be breastfeeded, they react to caressing, and obviously create bonds with their parents! Despite their deficiencies they are human beings fitted with souls, in need of extreme affection!
For very strong reasons there are no rational bases that justify the abortion of the so-called "anencephalous embryos", and the propositions used do not have any scientific, legal, or ethical consistence. "Starting with the very fact that there are no "anencephalous" embryos, for the term "anencephalous" (an + encephalous) would literally mean absence of encephalous, when we know that in fact those fetuses have some encephalic structure, such as encephalic stem, diencephalous, and, in some cases, presence of brain hemisphere and cortex!"(8)
The mistakenly called "anencephalous" fetus has the most primal part of the encephalous preserved, therefore the matrix of the automatous control of the visceral functions, namely: heart beats and capacity to breathe independently upon delivery. "Since the mysteries of the brain-mind relation are still obscure for us, we cannot allow our ignorance to be the driver of mistaken decisions as the one of the provoked abortion of that fetus". (9)
There are reports in the medical publications of "anencephalous" children who have lived for many months without the aid of breathing support. Here where I have lived for many years, Sobradinho, we have the history of a girl, Manuela Teixeira (or Manu), who although having her abortion authorized by the justice, due to fetal malformation, survived for over three years. "Manu" is the only Brazilian who has survived a disease that leads to the malformation of the skull bones. The doctors said that the deformity was incompatible with life. "In the world, only 21 children got to overcome the symptoms of the disease that causes death within minutes after the delivery",(10) and the girl Manuela Teixeira" died after three years of life, on September 14, 2003". (11) As we can see, a fetus, although an "anencephalous" one, does not lose its dignity and the right to be born.
The confreres in favor of the "anencephalous" abortion allege that in it there is no Spirit destined to reincarnation as explained in The Book of the Spirits. However, it is imperative to think about the bodies in which we could affirm no spirit would be destined to live, those being the ones of teratological, monstrous fetuses, which do not even have human appearance, nor working organs. Thus, nothing of this applies to the "anencephalous" fetus, "which is a living human organism, (...) consciousness tells us, then, that the only attitude compatible with the Law of Love is the one of mercy, compassion, with the "anancephalous" fetus "."(12)
Finally we believe that even in the case of the fetus being the bearer of serious and irreversible physical or mental lesions, the body is the instrument the Spirit needs for its evolution, for only in the experience of reincarnation will it have conditions to reorganize its structure which is unbalanced due to actions it performed in disagreement with the Divine Law. It also occurs that it programs itself for homes whose parents, most of the times, are committed to the problem and equally need to go through that reeducational experience.
1- Kardec, Allan. The Book of the Spirits (O Livro dos Espíritos), Rio de Janeiro: Ed FEB, 2003, question 344
2- Article: Razões Para Ser Contra o Aborto do Anencéfalo (Reasons to be against the abortion of encephalous fetuses), published on Folha Espírita - August/2004, by Laércio Furlan - physician and retired professor of UFPR; president of the Medical-Spritualist Association of Paraná; coordinator of the Campaign Life, Yes to Pregnancy - No to Abortion (Vida, Sim À Gravidez - Não ao Aborto).
3- Eliseu F. Mota Jr available, accessed on 12/21/05
4- The Newspaper Folha Espírita, January 2005.
7- (This text - O aborto na visão espírita (Abortion under the Spiritualist view)- approved by the National Federative Council in its General Meeting from November 13 to 15, 1999, Brasilia, is the document the FEB is taking, as a clarfying material, to consideration to authorities of the Federal Government, of the National Congress, of the Judicial Power. The State Federative Agencies, on their turn, do the same work with Governors, State Representatives, Mayors, City Councillors, and other authorities and the general public, in their states.) Reformador Magazine, number 2051, February 2000
8- Article: Aborto dos Chamados "Anencéfalos": uma Violência sem Fundamento (Abortion of the so-calles "Anencephalous" fetuses: A groundless violence), by Gilson Luís Roberto - Doctor CREMERS - 18.749
9- Dr. Irvênia Luiza de Santis Prada, researcher and emeritous tenured professor of USP, with more than one hundred works published, expert in animal neuroanatomy. Acessed on 12/25/05 10- A criança que desafiou a medicina (The child who challanged medicine), by Lilian Tahan - Correio Braziliense (2/28/2003)
11- Newspaper Correio Braziliense, from Sept. 15, 2003, page 3, article: " Morre criança com acrania" (Child with acrania dies) 12- Marlene Nobre, president of the International and Brazilian Medical-Spiritualistic Associations