Monday, January 28, 2013

The Ultimate Pro-Life Argument (Doesn't Exist)

For as long as I can remember, the RCC has been the predominate peddler of the notion that life begins at birth, for some magical reason (soul enshrinement? Can't be. Aquinas is sometimes used to argue this, but that's only half the truth. And that's before we dive into the rampant misogyny of the whole thing - what do you expect from a man quoting Aristotle, who as from that bastion of feminism and gender equality known as Ancient Greece? And it fails biology, since the soul wouldn't technically be enshrined for males until 120 days, since we're all female at gestation and only become male once the extra testosterone triggers the development of certain chromosomes. Bad science aside - I'm not going to hold that against either man since they did the best with what they had at the time - the RCC's position here isn't based on any kind of strict reading of the Bible, either. After all, Leviticus gives slave prices for any person over 3 years old, but not under, and Exodus clearly declares that if a man kills a fetus he pays a fine, but it's not murder unless the woman is killed as well. God declares to Jeremiah that "I knew ye in the womb," but that's God talking to Jeremiah, not God talking to all of humanity. David declares that he was a sinner at conception, but that's David talking, not God, and that matches existing doctrine anyway without saying that life starts; the sin is there before the life starts, since the sin is present in the parents, not the fetus. Part of me wants to blame the RCC stance ultimately on the Romans, since the RCC is basically a 1,000-year-old reactionary movement against a culture that doesn't exist anymore, and since the Romans practiced contraception and abortion, the RCC might have branded those sinful because the Romans did them. They did it for bathing, though there's not a single Biblical reason for it). Regardless what the ultimate reason happens to be, they're still wrong, since there's no such thing as a soul to enshrine. But that's their belief, even if it is convoluted, backwards, and relies on several very pinpoint and almost cherry-picked readings - rest assured, dear reader, it's nowhere near as complicated as that Rapture/Second Coming garbage that American Evangelicals push.

So when something like this happens:
Lori Stodghill was 31-years old, seven-months pregnant with twin boys and feeling sick when she arrived at St. Thomas More hospital in CaƱon City on New Year’s Day 2006. She was vomiting and short of breath and she passed out as she was being wheeled into an examination room. Medical staff tried to resuscitate her but, as became clear only later, a main artery feeding her lungs was clogged and the clog led to a massive heart attack. Stodghill’s obstetrician, Dr. Pelham Staples, who also happened to be the obstetrician on call for emergencies that night, never answered a page. His patient died at the hospital less than an hour after she arrived and her twins died in her womb.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Stodghill’s husband Jeremy, a prison guard, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit on behalf of himself and the couple’s then-two-year-old daughter Elizabeth. Staples should have made it to the hospital, his lawyers argued, or at least instructed the frantic emergency room staff to perform a caesarian-section. The procedure likely would not have saved the mother, a testifying expert said, but it may have saved the twins.
Being good pro-lifers, the Church hospital admitted to murder and offered to step up and do what was necessary to so help the family through this dark time, raising the moral standard for the anti-abortion side of the debate and set precedent that will strengthen those arguments legally: