Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Politics of Stillbirth

NOW has not taken an official stand on the issue. But Gandy said the organization has urged local women's rights activists to oppose legislation that doesn't include language guaranteeing that certificates of stillborn birth will only be issued to fetuses that die as a result of a naturally occurring intrauterine death after the 20th week of pregnancy. NOW also stipulates that certificates must only be issued only to parents who request them.

Otherwise, aborted fetuses could be eligible for the certificates -- a sign that would confer greater status, she said. And if outside parties could request the certificates, anti-choice groups might inundate states with requests for aborted fetuses, she said.

Cacciatore says the "Missing Angels" bills should not be muddied up in the contentious debate over reproductive rights. "The bottom line is, if these women want it, it should be their choice," she said.

The contradictions of the abortion ideology manifest themselves amply in this battle.

Fetuses are not important, so feminists say. Except if the women say they're important. And what women want is important. But when they want to acknowledge the death of their unborn child, then the fetus is not important anymore, even if it's up to the woman to decide on the status of the fetus.

The status of the fetus is elephant in the room that feminists do not want to confront, because to do so would upset the millions of women who support legalized abortion, but who love their fetuses as if they were actual human beings.

Every year in Canada, hundreds of women have late-term abortions and a number of them decide to cradle the expulsed fetus in order to mourn the baby they lost. The contradictions here are obvious, but nevertheless, some mothers do this.

These babies did not die natural interuterine deaths, yet they are mourned.

What's next? That these women aren't allowed to mourn their aborted children? What about certificates for them? Guess not, that would endanger the process that led to deaths of these babies in the first place.

When the logic of the abortion ideology is held up to the light, it's not morally tolerable. It's all about upholding the woman while ignoring the issue of who or what a fetus is. Now some feminists say outright the fetus is a nothing, but they can't build a campaign on that. They can't acknowledge it in front of a crowd of women, a lot of them would be insulted on behalf of their unborn children.

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