Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The life of the mother

Savita Halappanavar. Photo from The Irish Times.
On a Saturday night toward the end of October, Savita Halappanavar, 31, a dentist in Galway, found herself experiencing terrible back pain and other indications that she was having a miscarriage, in her 17th week of pregnancy. She went to University Hospital and asked that labor be induced, in effect asking for her pregnancy to be terminated, but the staff declined, saying that the fetus had a detectable heartbeat and that Ireland is "a Catholic country".

"They said unfortunately she can't because it's a Catholic country," Mr Halappanavar said. 
"Savita said to her she is not Catholic, she is Hindu, and why impose the law on her. 
"But she said 'I'm sorry, unfortunately it's a Catholic country' and it's the law that they can't abort when the foetus is live."
On the Wednesday the fetal heartbeat stopped, but by then it was too late; Savita Halappanavar died that Friday of the infection that was causing her miscarriage. There is little doubt that she would be alive if the hospital had done as she asked, possibly already looking forward to getting pregnant again—it was her first time, and her husband said she had been "on top of the world" about it.

Inquiries are ongoing, of course, as to whether anybody at Galway University Hospital was in fact in violation of Irish law, which has apparently become pretty complicated over years of priestly hypocrisy and cruelty (it seems to be an enshrined belief that prohibiting abortion does not interfere with women's rights because they can always get an abortion in England: I can just see Scalia selling that one to his colleagues, replacing England with Canada). I'm not at the moment interested in that at all.

What I'm interested in would be hearing from US Catholic bishops explaining to me their views on what happened here. Was it all part of God's plan that Savita Halappanavar should die so that the precious "life" of that "baby" could be prolonged for another four days? Should I focus on understanding that such regrettable events are "rare" and therefore don't need to be prevented? Or as an American should I rejoice that Savita Halappanavar died to protect the "religious freedom" of some hospital administrator to protect his (or hers perhaps, but I doubt it somehow) tender conscience instead of his patient?

All I can say is these people are lucky there's no afterlife with a vengeful Jesus in it, because if there were they would certainly be spending eternity in a very hot neighborhood.
From The Truth about Hell.

No comments:

Post a Comment