I’m angry. Here’s why.

November 18, 2012

This is a reminder. In some countries, women die because abortion is illegal.

Even when the they’ve been told the fetus would not survive after birth. In fact, where they are so against abortion that they are even denied in circumstances when the woman’s life is at risk.

By far not the first person globally, and probably not the last, Savita Halappanavar died in Ireland of blood poisoning after her fetus died inside her body and poisoned her to death. The doctors wouldn’t remove the fetus until it’s heart stopped beating despite the fact that she was clearly miscarrying.

Constitutionally abortion is legal in Ireland, but a court ruled that abortion should be permissible if it would save a woman’s live. The two contradictory messages mean that individual doctors make individual decisions at their discretion. Savita was reportedly told that ‘This is a Catholic country’.

The result?

As the MP Clare Daly said: “An unviable foetus – the woman was having a miscarriage – was given priority over the woman’s life”

The fetus was going to die anyway. But because of the law, the doctors refused to remove the dying fetus and as a result the pregnant woman died too. A woman in the prime of her life. (Who incidentally had many more childbearing years ahead, d’ya hear that pro-lifers?)

This link will take you to a moving tribute video so you can see her face and her smile and her vibrancy. If you can make it through without crying, you’re… well, you’re not me.

And maybe in the case of Ireland, change will come as a result of the tragedy, but globally the problem persists.

I don’t care if people think that abortion is morally wrong. We can argue that one till the cows come home. (Heck some people think that divorce, tattooing and bad haircuts are morally wrong but probably agree that they should remain legal).

But I do care if people continue to argue that abortion should be illegal, including in circumstances where women’s lives are at risk or where fetuses are nonviable, that women should not be trusted to make decisions about their bodies. That they should not have access to a medical procedure which will enable them to maintain sanity, physical and mental health and a sense of autonomy in their lives.

Also, some people think that even though where abortion is legal, it should still be really hard to get one, because you know, maybe if we make it hard to get one, she won’t get one. (I’m looking at YOU, New Zealand and America.)

And if women do get one, some people think it’s ok to judge and be nasty about the women, but notably not the men who help cause the pregnancy and may even have participated and agreed in the decision to abort.

As this post points out, stop taking pregnant women out of the equation when talking about being pro-life. Doesn’t being pro-life apply to women too?


More good links

here and here




2 Responses to “I’m angry. Here’s why.”

  1. monbla said

    They are not pro-life, they are merely pro-birth.

    I share your anger when thinking about women who, when rushed to the hospital for a botched abortion (because it is illegal), is criminalized instead of getting proper medical attention.

    For many Christians, it seems life begins at fertilization and ends when you become a woman.

    • Thanks for your comment. It made me think. I remember writing once that you are never closer to death than when you are carrying life. I hadn’t thought about in this context, but its even more true for now and more frightening because of how at the mercy of others we are.

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