Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Moral Bankruptcy in the Pro Life Movement

If there was ever a case of moral bankruptcy, it is the so-called "Pro-Life" movement's sqawking over a 9 year old girl's abortion in Brazil.

Sure enough, over at Lifesite, they've found an authority to say that the girl could have carried the twins to term:

But in a recent interview with, Dr. Paul Byrne, a neonatologist and clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Toledo, Ohio, strongly refuted the assumption that the Brazilian girl's life was threatened by the pregnancy, simply because of her age.

Byrne told LSN that it is certainly medically possible for a young girl safely to carry a pregnancy of twins to term. He acknowledged that the circumstances are unusual, but said that the problem of giving birth with an undeveloped pelvic structure could be safely avoided by a caesarean section.

This is not exactly a doctor who has examined the girl personally, so he's speaking from a purely hypothetical perspective. Hypothetically, just about anything is possible. That doesn't make it right, does it?

Dr. Byrne cited the case of Lina Medina, a Peruvian girl from the Andean village of Ticrapo who made medical history when she gave birth to a boy by caesarean section in May 1939 at the age of five years, seven months and 21 days.

Do I really need to point out that cases like this are exceedingly rare to begin with. Perhaps once in a while, a child carries the fetus to term (7 months is not "full term ... do I really need to point that out??) The doctor in this case is conveniently ignoring the fact that the case in Brazil involved multiple fetuses (twins), not a singleton - a situation that complicates pregnancy even further - and increases the risk to the pregnant female considerably - even as an adult.

But he emphasized that no matter what the situation in the case, "abortion is not the solution." The girl, he said, "was sexually abused" and needed treatment. "Someone should have tried to help this girl."

Which comes around to the problem, doesn't it? The girl was raped - by a parent figure no less. At the age of 9, did she have any say in the matter? No - or very unlikely.

Forcing a child to bear children is little more than repeating the rape that caused the pregnancy in the first place - every day until the pregnancy ends, and then every day after that the girl has to deal with the babies. I cannot even begin to imagine the horror that would be.

Dr. Byrne noted also that the girl now faces the usual long-term health risks associated with abortion, including possible future pre-term births and miscarriage due to an "incompetent cervix," a cervix that is too weak to stay closed during a pregnancy.

Prove it, Dr. Byrne. This is a 9 year old girl. Her body is still growing, and will heal a lot better than an adult body does. I'm sure that there are some risks involved here - any medical procedure bears risks with it. Somehow, I think being alive far outweighs the probability that pregnancy would have killed her - slowly and painfully.

Dr. Byrne decried the emphasis in the press and among Catholic bishops on the excommunications that were formally announced against the girl's mother and the doctors who performed the abortion by the Archbishop of Recife. "The focus is on excommunication when the focus ought to be on life of these three persons created in the image and likeness of God," said Byrne.

Wrong. This is so wrong on so many levels it isn't even funny. What this represents is nothing less than the moral bankruptcy of "Pro Life" politics. When a nine year old girl is to be repeatedly raped and forced to give birth afterwards, the "movement" has lost all credibility to take a moral high ground. In essence, they are saying that a child's life is of lesser value than a fetus. More to the point, they are arguing that the life of any pregnant female is worth less than a fetus.

Some notable pro-life twits will accuse me of being "utilitarian" about the matter, but in fact it is the pro-lifers who are being utilitarian - and they are doing so by treating women as nothing more than vessels of procreation. How much more utilitarian can you possibly get?

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