Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Celibate men say no

Strong words on hospitals and abortion from the Catholic church today in the Age, threatening to close Catholic hospitals if proposed law reform goes ahead.

Actually, I agree that no doctor should have to perform an abortion against his/her will, and surely it couldn't be too difficult to allow for that in the legislation. Even the referrals business could be negotiated.

But this bullying, bluffing absolutism isn't really about that. It is about power and the exercise of power.

I mean, look at that man's face. Just look at it.

And given the Catholic church's record to date on the care and nurturing of unwanted, rejected and/or parentless children and the damage, sorry, "evil" done by its institutions in that respect over the centuries, you'd think they'd have done some sort of cost-benefit analysis by now.

I've been arguing the toss about abortion for decades and not once, not ever, have I heard any member of the so-called pro-life brigade come up with an argument -- not just a decent argument, but any argument at all -- about the "evil" of allowing embryos to develop into foetuses that become unwanted children born into a world that doesn't or can't make proper provision for their care. And about the "evil" of shunting priests who are known sexual abusers of these and other children from one parish to the next and then covering it up, we hear, likewise and strangely, nothing.

There's no point in asking a pro-lifer to justify the unspoken basis of his/her position, which is that a woman is basically a sort of centrally-heated wheelbarrow, because if you say that they'll just look at you like Well, der, yes; what's the problem?

So one must use their own alleged priorities in argument, and ask about the welfare of the child that has been allowed first to become viable and then to be born. And I have never yet heard anyone even take that argument on. They just go straight back on-message, projecting all refusal of logical engagement onto the hapless Almighty, and replying with the faithful's equivalent of 'Computer says no'.

16 comments:

lauredhel said...

"Actually, I agree that no doctor should have to perform an abortion against his/her will, and surely it couldn't be too difficult to allow for that in the legislation."

It is allowed for in the legislation. The only time a doctor or nurse will be compelled to participate in an abortion is in a life-threatening emergency.

Anyone who wants to bow out of their responsibility to save a person dying in front of them is an inhuman piece of shit who should not be in medicine or nursing in the first place.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Yes, I agree with that last paragraph.

That the legislation already provides for conscience issues in detail wasn't made clear in the couple of media reports I read, so ta -- I read your more detailed post at chez Hoyden a little while ago and I can't imagine any sane person thinking that it's less "evil" to stand there and watch someone die than it is to save them by whatever means.

Penthe said...

I can't imagine that many of the doctors at Catholic hospitals are feeling great about this either. 'Oh I know, let's stop caring for all women and children because some women make a decision our bosses don't agree with. Women obviously only deserve our care if they comply with every edict we make.'

Inhuman shits indeed.

Pen

lauredhel said...

Penthe: My sympathy for the doctors involved is muted at best, seeing as they've already signed onto this in the process of becoming accredited with a Catholic hospital.

If doctors had stood up to the Catholic hospital system long ago and refused to sign on to their abusive policies, we wouldn't be in this situation today.

Ampersand Duck said...

Yesterday I was listening to RN all day (doing something mind-killingly repetitive) and in one news report on this subject, there was a fellow talking about how the Catholic Church is abusing human rights and maybe they can be attacked on that front, and then an hour later there was a fresh soundbite from the Catholic Church saying that they'd already managed to remove the right to an abortion from the Human Rights charter, so that approach will never work. And you could hear the implicit and hard-nosed 'fuck you' in his tone.

It took my breath away. The power!

Mindy said...

It's the hypocrisy of the "all life is sacred" and "all single mothers are out to bludge of the welfare system" that really gets me. All life is sacred up until you are a single mother then you are a slut and don't deserve any help. Put the money wasted on lobbying politicians into better care for women (and their partners) who may not be able to otherwise afford an unexpected pregnancy. In other words, put your money where your mouth is.

Iona said...

What I find repulsive is how the conscience referral allowed for in the legislation is being manipulated by the Church as 'you're making us permit abortions!'.

No, you are being given choice in the same way we want women to have choice. Their response to the referral matter exposes their hypocrisy: they want to control women's choice to the point of not even respecting a patient's right to information and referral.

Anonymous said...

See also Sunday 21 September's ABC Background Briefing on Population Control where the wonderful Professor Matthew Connelly gently suggests towards the end that the Catholic Church may have done more towards global overpopulation than any other single body...
Tyaakian

skepticlawyer said...

"There's no point in asking a pro-lifer to justify the unspoken basis of his/her position, which is that a woman is basically a sort of centrally-heated wheelbarrow, because if you say that they'll just look at you like Well, der, yes; what's the problem?" (tried to blockquote and failed - sorry).

Spot on, as you'll see in the abortion thread over at our place. Forcing this particular assumption out into the open is a good thing, imho.

lauredhel said...

"centrally-heated wheelbarrow"

*uncontrollable snorfling*

Michael Dunne said...

The above is a perfect example why one should know what you are talking about before commenting. A little knowledge matched with a restricted perspective is a dangerous thing.
Compelling a person to conduct an act to which they have a moral objection is wrong. Any legislation to that end is draconian. Abortion is a difficult question for many and is a personal one.
If you can excuse the reference from scripture, I'm reminded of Solomon's Choice when asked what he wanted..."Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?". Individuals cannot be all things to all people, we are imperfect. Why should an institution be any different?

Pavlov's Cat said...

Well yes, it was only a matter of time. And it's always someone called Michael or David or Algernon.

"The above is a perfect example why one should know what you are talking about before commenting."

By which rude, pompous and ungrammatical smackdown I assume you mean 'You disagree with me, therefore you are an ignorant fool.'

It's a blog, Michael, not an authoritative textbook. Perhaps you misunderstand the genre.

Michael Dunne said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pavlov's Cat said...

That's once.

I would have left Mr Dunne's bigoted, conceited, misogynist comment there, but it was vilely insulting to everyone here as well as to me, and besides, it's been the first test of the comments policy. I'd hate people to think I didn't mean it.

Michael Dunne said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michael Dunne said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.