Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pro-Life Myopia

Used to be that there was one thing the pro-choicers and the pro-lifers would agree upon (at least among the moderates on both sides): The life of the mother was sacrosanct.

Of course that was before extreme fundamentalist thought became more mainstream; what I like to call the Jesus Campening of the US.

Proof of how far things have progressed (regressed?) lay in the movement to bestow "personhood" upon the fetus; a movement that has found sympathetic minds in the legislatures of various states in conservative frontierlands, specifically the Dakotas, Montana, Idaho and Oregon. In essence, what these states are trying to do is to give the fetus the same inalienable rights as a person, thereby making abortion the same as murder; what isn't said is that this also allows the state to make decisions regarding a woman's pregnancy, regardless of any possible health risks to the mother.

Exaggeration? A bit of hullaballoo to rile up the left? Not so; check out this quote from a video created by the National Advocates for Pregnant Women:

Angela Carder, a Clarksville, Md., woman featured in the video, became critically ill at 25 weeks pregnant. Her family and physician all agreed to carry out her wishes and keep her alive as long as possible -- but her hospital called an emergency hearing to determine the rights of the fetus. A court held that the fetus' right to life outweighed its mother's, and ordered a C-section despite the fact that the surgery could kill Carder. The operation was performed, and neither one survived.

(For more about the video, the NAPW, and further issues relating to "personhood," check out this item from Salon's Broadsheet; the bit about the woman from Florida who wanted a VBAC is just about as scary.)

Meanwhile, I am forced to wonder what's possible on the opposite end of the political spectrum: RU486 in the water? Sterilization at birth? The mind boggles.


(S)wine said...

considering the shit we're in...pretty much the irreversible shit we're in (environment, finite sources, finite potable water), sterilization at birth sounds good to me. 9 billion of us destroying shit by year 2040.

momentofchoice said...

I'm thinking there ought to be some testing of the brain conducted prior to certain people being allowed/elected to make decisions.

I'm reading this paper at the moment, and this sentence stood out as being directly related to the seemingly insane decisions being made by human beings in positions of power:

"Baron (1998) has demonstrated that people following their moral intuitions often bring about non-optimal or even disastrous consequences in matters of public policy, public health, and the tort system."

TBO, this stuff makes me shake my head in disbelief and will also probably prompt me to waste more time searching for logical answers to reconcile my beliefs about the potential of human beings with the consistent proof otherwise. Maybe I'll just finish reading the paper above first and science will tell all. It probably will crush all hope I have in humanity but I need a good dose of reality to maybe stop feeling so friggen disappointed in human beings. I am getting the impression my expectations are wildly unrealistic.

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