A (female) legislator here in Rhode Island, noting the fear many women feel at the idea of abortion becoming illegal again, offered a bill putting the same kinds of restrictions around laparascopic vasectomies as often exist around abortion. A (male) legislator responded that he feels threatened and wants to prefer charges.
And in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a (female) legislator and the (male) governor have gotten into a brouhaha with anti-choice people because they seek to reduce the unnecessary bureaucracy around rare, third-term abortions. Those folks who wish to impose their religious convictions on all the world, whether or not we are members of their faith, are up in arms.
The governor’s spokesperson wrote: “No woman seeks a third trimester abortion except in the case of tragic or difficult circumstances, such as a nonviable pregnancy or in the event of severe fetal abnormalities, and the governor’s comments were limited to actions physicians would take in the event that a woman in those circumstances went into labor.”
The article I read in the National Review then went on to imply that the “severe fetal abnormalities included children born with Down Syndrome. Phooey.
My mother was an obstetrical nurse in a Christian hospital and she would tell stories of the kinds of babies who were allowed to die peacefully when they were born with massive problems. They weren’t Down Syndrome people. They were kids with no brains, or with all their abdominal organs outside the abdomen, or other kinds of abnormalities which, in the 30s (and sometimes even today) are not repairable. They were babies that would die, quietly, peacefully, and quickly; they did not linger.
We struggle as a country to understand that sometimes death is a gift. For children born with such problems, a short, pain-free life is more respectful of their God-created humanity than a life filled with one medical intervention after another, all the while knowing that there will never be any more to that child’s life than there was on the day of birth.
It is ethically indefensible to keep people from divorcing just because your church prohibits divorce; it is equally indefensible to impose your church’s prohibition of birth control or abortion on those who do not share your religion, particularly if your church can’t be bothered to obey laws intended to protect children after their birth.