April 20, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Members of the Evangelical and Catholic caucuses of the Brazilian National Congress have submitted a formal request for impeachment of a Supreme Tribunal minister who lead his colleagues to vote for the legalization of abortions of babies suffering from anencephaly.
The petition was submitted following last week’s 8-2 vote by the Supreme Tribunal, the nation’s highest court, withdrawing the protection of the law from unborn children suffering from anencephaly, a condition in which an infant fails to form all of the upper brain and skull.
Although children often die of the developmental defect before being born, some have been known to live for days, weeks, months, and even years with the condition, and parents say they are responsive to their environment.
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According to Brazilian media sources, the parliamentarians presented a request of prosecution by the Senate for a “crime of responsibility” against Minister Marco Aurélio Mello, for allegedly having pre-judged the case.
Aurélio was the “relater” of the case, who has the responsibility of reviewing the facts and presenting a detailed defense of a proposed verdict, which the full court has a right to accept or reject. Aurelio’s publicly stated position for many years before rendering his vote was in favor of permitting abortions in such cases.
“The relater of today’s case declared his position beforehand. That is a break of decorum,” said representative Eros Biondini, a Catholic delegate to the nation’s Chamber of Deputies from the state of Minas Gerais, on April 11.
Pastor Marco Feliciano, an Evangelical deputy from the state of Sao Paulo, noted that the case could lead to a massacre of infants in Brazil, by creating a precedent for legalizing abortions in general.
“Minister Marco Aurélio did something that he should not. He anticipated his vote before judgement, leading the other ministers of the STF to follow his vote,” said Feliciano.
“What is being established here is an opening so that the mass murder of children in our country may be supported,” he said, adding, “we want the impeachment of Minister Marco Aurélio.”
Minister Aurélio discarded the arguments of the representatives, claiming his position had already been revealed in 2004 vote of the Supreme Federal Tribunal on the same subject.
“To defend the position [taken in 2004], I had to reveal my opinion. I am not at fault if I didn’t change my opinion up to now, and if I only bow to my science and my conscience.”
Brazilian law prohibits judges from expressing their opinion on any case while it is still in process, whether their own or that of another judge.