No doubt you are all following recent events here in Ireland – the tragic death of an Indian woman in an Irish hospital as a result of a miscarriage. It is an awful situation and we must remember her husband and family at this time.
As if the death of a young woman was not bad enough, the pro-abortion lobby are now exploiting her untimely death to push the government into legislating for abortion. And it seems the government may well use this case to do so. A lot has been written about the case in the last twenty-four hours. There is a lot of anger and some protests, all by those who want to legalise the killing of the unborn. However, as always when it comes to abortion and politics, truth tends to be the first casualty, and as people shout and protest, the truth is being conveniently pushed to one side. As doctors and pro-life groups are attempting to point out the real medical situation, pro-abortion politicians and groups and the media are trying to drown them out. Seeing as the expert group’s report has just landed on the Minister for Health’s desk and is due to be published in a week or so, it all seems to be (eerily) perfectly timed for the anti-life brigade.
The simple matter of fact here is that Savita Halappanavar did not die because she was refused an abortion. The procdures necessary to save her life (abortion not being one of them) are already permissible under current medical guidelines and under Catholic ethical guidelines, and are performed in Irish hospitals whenever such cases present themselves. Why they were not preformed is now the subject of an investigation, and rightly so. But thanks to the muddied waters being stirred up this basic fact is being ignored and quickly shoved out of sight.
I would refer you to David Quinn’s excellent article in the The Irish Independent today. He also points out that the media, who are now giving wall to wall coverage of this poor woman’s death, tends to fall silent when it comes to reporting on the deaths of women during and after abortions. Eilis Mulroy’s article in the same paper is also important reading. There is also a very good, detailed reflection on the case by the Thirsty Gargoyle. William Oddie of the Catholic Herald also offers us some opinions which are worth considering.
I think we were all waiting for something like this to happen. We knew that as the report was due to come out the pro-abortion brigade would find something to push their case. I just find it despicable that they are exploiting this woman’s death. But then as a friend said to me yesterday evening: “If they think it is okay to kill a baby, then there are no moral barriers they’ll respect”. Anyway we need to pray and do what we can.
Other news. George Weigel has a most interesting article on Church/civil marriage: he is actually arguing the point I made some time ago – it may be time for the Catholic Church to withdraw from cooperation with the civil authorities in conducting marriage ceremonies. Canonist Ed Peters disagrees and offers a thought provoking response. He sees it in a different light – the Church does not conduct civil weddings, but rather the state accords civil recognition to those marriages, so the onus is on the state to stop recognising them rather than on the Church. This is a useful point to make. Anyway, I think we should be talking about it.