Thursday, February 21, 2008

ZenTiger Premature Emancipation

Parents of miscarried foetuses are allowed to enter them with a name in the official civil registry.

This makes sense. They were human (albeit in an early stage of development) and their loss was a real loss to their parents. They were Real People that never quite made it to the next step of their life cycle. The "being born" stage. The least we can do is give them a name.

Some groups are complaining about this. What are they so afraid of? I find this amusing, for reasons I'll soon explain.

If we declare a pre-born baby human, will society really crumble?

If we declare a foetus a human, does it make us lucky enough to be born any less human? Of course not.

And what's the problem with giving our human pre-borns the status of personhood? We know, all things being equal, they are going to be born. The only thing to stop this would be an un-natural intervention, a terrible accident or some bad luck.

So let's do it.

And just to make this post controversial; my arguments are just the same as some arguments used to justify redefining marriage. And yet I suspect a good proportion of those keen on giving gay couples the same status to marriage as heterosexual couples are possibly not so keen on giving a pre-born a right to life, both being typical liberal positions. Discussing both of these topics together, especially where the reasons (arguments) overlap, may yield some unexpected fruit.

Anyone up to it?

Related Link: French Catholics keen on premature emancipation

PS: I'm a fence sitter on the Civil Union issue, but I think abortion amounts to murder. That shouldn't really matter in this discussion, but I don't want to be side-tracked by people attacking my personal views (assumed or otherwise) instead of the subject offered up for discussion. Please try to stay on topic.

8 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

I've known Catholic women who have aborted and it's been agonising for them. They may well have had a name for the foetus but it wasn't something they wanted to dwell on.. rather to get on raising their current brood and planning the next one. Good practical stuff that stops brooding and moping over what might have been and ending up with a psychosis.
Parents have a duty to the living, including themselves.

Making a play for the right to enter the fetus name in the registry may be done for good reasons by some parents, provided it's a discrete thing, but for others, including those on a mission, it's a political statement on abortion. In that case, the anguish over the fetus is subsumed into a weapon to be waved, like the bloody shirt, over those with different views. That's sick, like that bloody woman Sheehan in the US who used her dead son to berate support for the Iraq War. Because inevitably, such extremity subsumes not just the dead baby, but affects and potentially destroys relationships with the living.. and that is a great sin, particularly if it's your own husband/wife and children.

Third. I feel some sympathy with those who don't want fetuses registered.. they can see a bloody shirt coming from a mile off, and one not based on reason, but bloody minded emotion. If you can't win an argument on abortion based on reason and pure love of life, then all you can do is lose the argument on emotion and poison the well at the same time.


Lucia Maria said...

JC, were those Catholic women aware that having an abortion resulted in automatic excommunication for themselves?

Unknown said...

If you consider a foetus a person, presumably a miscarried one would go to heaven when it dies. It gets to live forever in paradise (presumably as a foetus), which is undoubtably a good thing. No loving god would condemn a foetus' soul to Hell because it didn't have a chance to get to know Jesus. In that case, wouldn't the same apply to aborted foetuses? Better to kill them in the womb then let them be born an possibly become an atheist, right?

Lucia Maria said...

Christopher, well, yes, however your argument would then apply to born babies and children who have not yet attained the age of reason. While as the child is innocent, the people involved in the murder are not. No person knows whether a child will grow up to be an atheist or not - only God knows.

Nice try.

Anonymous said...


I was using the word "aborted" in the sense of a miscarriage, not a deliberate act. Apologies for the confusion.


Anonymous said...

Christopher, all I can think is that for God it is worth the risk to have one of his children love him. Becoming what we are meant to be is better than a guaranteed acceptence to heaven. Why (if you accept this) does the devil fight so hard for abortion. Something must be special about adults who love the Lord.
Yes, Zen if we think society should hold the beliefs of thew individual as supreme, then gays should be free to marry and parents who choose to name their miscarrages should be able to. Unless, we actually do reference a moral law, perhaps rationilism in which the feotus has no mind to remember and therefore no personality or meaning and gays who love and feel and have a biological tendency to their behaviour are discriminated against if not allowed to live out their lifestyle. Without belief in a spiritual dimension I think you could justify this arguement.


Anonymous said...

When I first read this article in the paper, what struck me was the opposition that the French Courts had recieved by pro-Abortion groups. Its interesting (and revealing) that in this case (as this is about a parent's right to bury their child who had died through miscarriage and not a typical abortion issue) that it received so much controversy from pro-abortion groups.

Zentiger, you're right to ask what does society have to lose if we give the pre-birth foetus the personhood status. But then its never been about what society wants, its always been about what these pro-abortion groups want, what FPA want, what the feminists want - left to society, I'd argue that we'd collectively determine the foetus as human as we are.

Not that we can ever expect the pro-abortion people to ever allow that choice to be made by ordinary people. They have to make it for us.

If I were part of a pro-abortion organisation/movement I would be watching the French courts very closely. France is morally bankrupt but if even they can accept that an unborn child is human, it'll open a can of worms that such groups have fought to keep closed.

Its the fight to determine where the line is drawn - is abortion merely the termination of a collection of cells, or is it killing a child?

Whatever the answer, pro-abortionists don't want to know.

All the more reason to find out.

Anonymous said...

I happen to believe that life begins at conception.

If the parents of the embryonic child which has died during pregnancy wish to register the child officially or publicly with a name, then I see no problem.

As a society, our recognising and recording their loss is something small we can do show compassion, help the parents in their healing and respect the child who never made it to birth.


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