A senior Vatican cleric has defended the excommunication in Brazil of the mother and doctors of a young girl who had an abortion with their help.
The nine-year-old had conceived twins after alleged abuse by her stepfather.
Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re told Italian paper La Stampa that the twins "had the right to live" and attacks on Brazil's Catholic Church were unfair.
It comes a day after Brazil's president criticised the Brazilian archbishop who excommunicated the people involved.
Brazil only permits abortions in cases of rape or health risks to the mother.
Doctors said the girl's case met both these conditions, but the Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, Jose Cardoso Sobrinho said the law of God was above any human law.
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