Curious as to what it might look like if that crowd had won, or actually what their surrogates and comrades in state legislatures are still trying to do even in wake of getting throttled at the polls last Tuesday? Look no further than Ireland, where doctors at a Catholic hospital let a woman die in agony, rather than terminate her pregnancy, of a baby they acknowledged had no chance of survival.
Think I’m exaggerating? Think I’m drawing a parallel with dubious connections? I suggest you re-read the GOP platform introduced in Tampa at the RNC, or Paul Rayn’s views on rape as a “method of conception,” or Joe Walsh or Akin or Paul Ryan’s (still a US Congressman) stance on the denial of abortion even when the life of the mother is at risk. (For the record, Ryan later did sign on to legislation that would allow some exceptions for abortion when the mother’s life is at stake, but the “Personhood” amendment he signed on to clouds that stance, to say the least)
We don’t have to play with far-flung hypotheticals here.. this is a prime example of the consequences of this stance. A not terribly rare or wild, far-fetched scenario, actually. This is Conservative extreme anti-abortion law in action. And now an otherwise healthy young woman is dead. She is dead because religious doctrine valued the life of a doomed fetus over hers. Click the link below for the full story:
So past the clear facts of this example, the question then becomes: Is this a case of religious dogma overruling common sense, or is this a broader case of patriarchal social/religious/cultural rule causing the very ultimate consequence for a woman whose only crime was being pregnant, and that pregnancy going awry? Does it matter, when the end result is the same? And perhaps, even though the country in which this happened is considered “1st world,” “Western,” “advanced,” “civilized” even, it is still a foreign country.
After all, we are not the constituents of Irish leaders. We cannot vote in their elections. However, we (Americans) can and do vote right here. (despite the efforts of elected officials to make the process more difficult for voters who often happen to oppose this sort of radical right-wing agenda) And our elected leaders and candidates who espouse this view of abortion should be made to answer: “What about Savita Halappanavar? If she was seeking medical care in this country, would you deny her an abortion and let her die?”
By their very own party platform, the answer seems to be a resounding “Yes.”