Friday, November 30, 2012

Getting it Right: Savita Halappanavar Never Requested an Abortion

One of the most deplorable things that's happening in the scandal over the death of Savita Halappanavar is the media complicity in misrepresenting the situation. Take this Huffington Post article as case in point.

Savita Halappanavar, 17 weeks pregnant, was diagnosed as being in the middle of a miscarriage when she was admitted to an Irish hospital. She asked that labor be induced in order to get the whole thing over with, since she was in a lot of pain.

According to Savita's husband, the doctor refused on the grounds that the baby's heart was still beating and that since Ireland is a Catholic country, labor couldn't be induced while the baby's heart was still beating.

I don't know if Savita's doctor is an idiot or not. He might be just a rat-bastard and not a clueless clod. Either way, he was wrong. If a miscarriage is in progress, there is no law -- religious or secular -- that bans inducing labor to prevent the risk of maternal infection. There is no law -- religious or secular -- that bans using forceps to gently facilitate the delivery of the still-living 17-week baby. Savita's baby could have been removed from her uterus at any time once the inevitable miscarriage was diagnosed. To do so would have been 100% legal under Irish law. To do so would have been 100% permissible under Catholic doctrine.

What Irish law and Catholic doctrine forbid is an abortion.

A 17-week abortion is performed by reaching into the uterus with forceps and twisting pieces off the baby's body until the baby is dead and the uterus is empty.

By pulling the living baby into chunks, the abortion not only kills the baby, it also produces sharp bone fragments that can scratch, tear, or puncture the uterine wall. Such injuries actually increase the risk of infection by providing a direct pathway into the mother's blood stream.

In addition to helping the infection to spread faster, these injuries also bring with them the risk of fatal hemorrhage, embolism, and clotting disorders.

An abortion would not have reduced the risk to Savita's life. It would have compounded the risk. It would likely have made death flat-out inevitable.

It bears repeating: Savita requested an assisted delivery of a miscarrying fetus. What Savita requested was perfectly permissible under both Irish law and Catholic doctrine.What Savita requested was not an abortion.

I can understand why abortion advocacy groups misrepresent the nature of Savita's request. Of course they would misrepresent her request as an abortion request. Of course they would try to demonize both the Irish legislature and the Catholic Church, who are their sworn enemies in the drive for abortion-on-demand. To frame an obstetric malpractice case as a a dastardly, deadly deed done by their enemies is to be expected.

But why are the news media complicit? Why are they following the abortion-advocacy narrative and presenting Savita's death not as what it was -- flat out malpractice -- but rather framing it as a legally-mandated death?

I'm postulating one of two reasons:

1. The news media pass along the pronouncements of abortion-advocacy organizations because they trust those organizations and see no need to do any of their own investigating.

2. The news media know that what's being done is an act of deception and are deliberately complicit because they share the goals of the abortion advocacy organizations.

Perhaps there is another reason. And perhaps the reason isn't important. But what is important -- what is vital -- is understanding the truth. And the truth is this: Savita Halappanavar never requested an abortion. She never, never asked that her baby be put to death.

We can expect abortion advocacy organizations to slander a dead woman in order to achieve their ends. We can even expect them to lie to her family and characterize her innocent request as a request for an abortion so that they can then be used as pawns and as human shields. The abortion rights movement has made deceiving families and then using them as political props into an art form. They have a right to free speech, even if they use that free speech in dispicable ways.

But we need to stop letting the media get away with it. They need to start telling the truth: about Savita, about the doctor, about the circumstances, and about the organizations that are putting this woman's family through hell to achieve their political ends.


stanchaz said...

It’s about time’s WAY past time
...for people to take control of their own destiny, their own lives.
There are so many priests, preachers, and assorted shamans
out there --"men of the cloth"-
who have the unmitigated gall, the sheer arrogance,
of claiming to speak for God, and with God.
And we ...we must listen, and follow, and obey. Or so they say.
They claim a direct pipeline to the Almighty!
God did this, God told me. God loves that. God hates this.
God wants this. Oh, and drop another coin in the basket
before you leave please God demands.
It's gotten so bad that now they think that.... they ARE God
ENOUGH already! I say to them all:
Go back to whatever burrow you came from,
you charlatans, and leave us -and our country- alone.
For we're a free and proud people, , and will remain so
- without- your shameful meddling in both our private lives,
and our public institutions.
For Religion is a personal matter -
NOT something to be FORCED on others!
Don't just accept something because it comes from
a religious "voice of authority".
For ultimately YOU are responsible for your life,
and how you try to live it.
That’s why you have freedom of choice and a conscience:
to choose, NOT just to blindly follow.....
We need to start acting like Men and Women...not sheep.

Christina Dunigan said...

stanchaz, it's so interesting that you, in your "don't be a sheep" rant, blindly pass along all the abortion-advocacy talking points.

If you don't want to be a sheep, then stop following the abortion-rights groups and start doing your own investigating into things. Stop believing everything they tell you.

Patrick said...

I agree that the media are guilty of seriously abusing the power they wield by letting themselves become little more than the propaganda arm of the liberal abortion movement. The corruption of the media in just about all matters is a serious problem which our society needs to tackle.

However I'm wondering where you got the info that Savita did not ask for an abortion. In all the accounts I've read, either she or her husband did ask, and more than once, for what the media call an "abortion". There is no way of knowing, I think, what Savita herself called it. In fact she may not have asked for the procedure at all since there is no mention of her request in the medical records (of course, there is the outside chance that the request was not recorded or the records where tampered with).

Most importantly, though, you are correct that an assisted delivery could have been done if that was medically indicated. It was not Irish abortion laws that caused the tragedy.

Christina Dunigan said...

Patrick, all the reports are that her husband relayed that she asked for labor to be induced. When a patient is already in the process of a miscarriage, that is considered routine obstetric care, not an abortion. If her husband was telling the truth, then she did not ask for an abortion. It's slander for people to say that she requested one.

M said...

It's no surprise at all that the media would gladly become pawns for the proabortion agenda.

Let us be clear: induced labor is not an abortion; and it is absolutely legitimate and ethical - let alone necessary - to request for an induced labor if a miscarriage has been diagnosed and is already happening, in order to remove whatever remains may still be inside the uterus and prevent a massive infection to spread.

Irish law does not state anywhere that life-saving treatment can be denied to a pregnant woman in any circumstances at all. If an inevitable miscarriage is already happening and has been diagnosed as such, to ask for an induced labor is not only 100% ethical, but 100% legal and necessary.

Be it manipulation or just blatant ignorance, truth must be spoken out about this case: abortion was never necessary to save Savita's life, but would have only added more risks to her health.