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Vatican supports excommunications in abortion case

A senior Vatican cleric on Saturday defended the decision of a Brazilian archbishop to excommunicate the doctors and mother of a 9-year-old girl who had an abortion after being raped, the BBC reported.

Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re told Italian paper La Stampa that the twins the girl had conceived "had the right to live."

The Brazilian president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, criticized Friday regional archbishop José Cardoso Sobrinho's decision to excommunicate the mother and doctors.

The girl's stepfather has been accused of sexual abuse, the New York Times reported, He is currently in jail.

The girl was discovered to be four months pregnant last week, after she was taken to the hospital for stomach pains.

Abortion is illegal in Brazil, except in cases of rape and if the mother's life is endangered, the New York Times reported.