Sunday, December 21, 2014

cult of the foetus

Another year, another appalling women's versus foetus' rights case in my dear motherland.

This time, a brain-dead woman lies on life support, her body continuing to support the life of her 2nd trimester, unviable foetus. A tragedy, her death, now overshadowed by the fact that she has been turned into a creepy sci-fi experiment. A woman reduced to a vessel, an incubator, a shell to continue to house the baby that should have died with her.

We can't tolerate the idea of death, anymore, despite the fact that life is so very, very cheap in so many places on earth. Children used as commodities, gun culture, slavery... but here in Ireland, where everything is fiiiiiine, we are so terrified of allowing a foetus to die that we are willing to create this Margaret Atwood scenario.

Her family want to let them both go, her parents and her husband. The State doesn't care about that. The 'pro-life' people don't care about that. Life for the foetus at any cost! Rights of the unborn child. What about the unborn child's rights!!??

Here is what babies need and want. They want their mother's arms and smell and milk. They want to be held close to a breast to feed and be warmed and be loved. This is not to say that fathers and grandparents of motherless children do not do a marvellous, beautiful job of parenting their newborns, but still - this is what babies are programmed to need. They need the voice they heard throughout their life in the womb, the song, the heartbeat. This grieving father does not sound like he wants to parent this child, he does not sound welcoming, ready, capable of providing it with everything it needs, it has already lost.

As a person who spent much of her childhood, and much of her adult life wishing she was dead, wishing she had never been born, and as the mother of a child who frequently wishes she was dead, had never been born,  I question the cult of life-at-any-cost. Quality, not quantity.

A friend once angrily told me I was selfish for expressing the truth that I would rather not have lived. What about all the people whose lives have been altered or bettered for knowing me? I'm afraid that's a manipulative condemnation I find irrelevant - people are not conceived or born all the time and we never know the difference. It doesn't matter - we can't miss what never existed.

Unless it's our mother.


Ms. Moon said...

I think this is the best thing you've ever written. I so agree.
And you said it beautifully.

Jo said...

Wow, Mary, thank you.