Sunday, April 27, 2014
Some people find the concept that women should have unfettered sovereignty over their own bodies even during pregnancy difficult one. When it is 'just her' no one has problem with a woman doing whatever with herself but if she becomes pregnant then everyone whether they know her or not feels they have the right to tell her what she can do. It is suddenly 'open season' on the pregnant woman's civil rights. Essentially the argument is: if she does not own her own body during pregnancy, who does? And if she does not own her own body during pregnancy, how is she NOT a slave? But does the child-to-be not have rights? No, unless the mother-to-be says otherwise. Few realize the risks a pregnant woman runs. Women do still die from pregnancy and from childbirth. This is no 'cakewalk'. Even in the final trimester something catastrophic can occur which will kill both of them unless the child is aborted. This has happened twice in the past year both in Catholic countries. One may say that they were hoping for a miracle. But one could also say that the mother's life wasn't deemed worthy of being saved if an abortion was required to save her life. "It was God's will." If one truly believes that then there was no reason to prosecute Gosnell for surely that was all "God's will " too. No pregnancy is perfect and the system is not without its flaws. The decision Roe vs Wade determined that up to week 26 (6.5 months), the mother-to-be's rights prevail. This is based not only upon viability but also upon specialized medical knowledge. Around week 26, a profound transformation occurs in the fetus - changes so profound that medical professionals in that field call it a metamorphosis. Before this transformation is completed, the child has few, if any, rights. After this transformation is completed, the child has rights. Un less there is a catastrophic failure in the pregnancy whereupon the doctors must save who they can for even now, the fetus could die in utero, turn septic and kill the woman. She bears the risks. Therefore she, and only she, has the right to make the decision.