This is what a Catholic country looks like


A nightmarish ethical dystopia that succeeded in slowly and painfully killing an innocent woman for the sake of nothing.

Savita Halappanavar, 17 weeks pregnant, was miscarrying. There was no chance that the fetus would survive. In excruciating pain, Savita asked for an abortion. The hospital, University Hospital Galway in Ireland, refused. Why? There was still a fetal heartbeat, and as Savita and her husband were told, “this is a Catholic country”.

They forced Savita to wait, “in agony”, for another two days until the fetus died. By that time, she had to be taken into intensive care, and died a few days later of septicemia and E. coli infection.

Where Sister Margaret McBride made the choice to ignore the rules of her church and order a life-saving abortion at a Catholic hospital for a woman who was otherwise going to die, the doctors at Galway evidently could not bring themselves to do the same.

The fetus was certain to die. At that point, the staff’s only concern should have been ensuring Savita’s well-being. There was no justifiable reason whatsoever to allow an already doomed fetus to survive a couple more days while its presence made her so ill that she required intensive care.

Yet they were willing to stand by, watch her condition deteriorate, and do nothing, for the sake of a fetus that was not going to survive anyway.

This should have been the simplest moral decision in the world. Even if they consider the fetus a “life”, or a “person”, that life was already going to be lost. So, should one person die, or should two people die? Any one of us could have made the right choice here. But Savita’s life was in their hands, and she died because of their perverted ethics.

She died because of a faith that values adherence to a rule over saving a life, a religion that thinks its laws are more important than whether she lived or died.

And they would have been willing to put any one of us in the same situation as Savita. That should scare us. Catholic hospitals should scare us. Catholic countries should scare us. Here, they’ve shown that their beliefs are more than just an empty expression of piety. They’re willing to put our lives on the line for their church. Are you okay with that?

Comments

  1. Forbidden Snowflake says

    The cruel, arbitrary rules of Catholicism being inflicted on an ill and terrified non-Catholic. Yep, the picture of theocracy.

  2. Tualha says

    More precisely, they would have been willing to put any woman in the same situation as Savita. Why, what a surprise. A church run entirely by men, devaluing the lives of women. Who’da thought?

    But if any man ever gets pregnant, I’m sure they’ll apply the exact same rules to him. Oh, wait! That’s probably already happened to some hapless transman. But I doubt they would recognize him as a man…

  3. Eddie says

    Sad. I recently deconverted from Catholicism I guess I never really felt like a Catholic but I didn’t want to be an atheist (I had misconceptions about what being an atheist meant) I am sad this happened I still talk to my friends and family who are catholic I actively trying to deconvert them as well it’s weird that even knowing there is no God and that most of what we got taught is bunk we still refuse to take that extra step and declare it religion does something to people it makes people scared to leave it.

  4. says

    Howdy… I must intercede.

    There are other catholic countries. Ireland is a catholic country which is slowly losing it’s catholic grip.

    A lot of progress has been made there. This is actually an anomaly. Savita should have been given an abortion by Irish law…

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/amilliongods/2011/04/08/a-taste-of-things-to-come-the-rise-of-the-back-street-abortionist/

    It’s the unfortunate reality in the Philippines, a nation that’s so proudly catholic and indeed proud of it’s massive and unsustainable population growth.

    USAID used to be given because it follows an abstinence only method of sex education and doesn’t have ANY contraception. The stories are collated from interviews from a variety of personal sources. Many cannot be named because it is illegal to aid or abet an abortion in the Philippines. These women can be jailed for doing this. Ireland is lucky enough to be a first world nation and to have the grasp of catholicism loosened but it has a long way to go. Otherwise this is what it’s future entails.

  5. Arek W. says

    “Catholic countries should scare us.”

    I live in Catholic country :/

    Recently our politicians voted for an act that would restrict already restrictive abortion law. They were free to vote however they wanted, because “it was a matter of their worldviews” (sic!).

  6. says

    I wrote about this a few hours ago and took a similar angle on it. One thing that a commenter pointed out is that the law in Ireland supports that the life of the mother takes priority over the life of the fetus in cases like this. The staff at the hospital literally put their faith above the law and above medical guidelines.

    We should be frightened to be in any country that considers itself any religion. Theocracy will inevitably lead to this sort of thing, over and over again. It’s the result of trading reason for belief.

  7. ButchKitties says

    The is a good example of why abortion bans kill women even when “imminent threat to health” exceptions are written into the law. These laws force doctors to worry about whether the threat to her life immediate enough to qualify for the exception, which means they have to sit on their hands and allow her health to deteriorate instead of being proactive. Exceptions give doctors an artificially narrow window to treat a life-threatening infection while simultaneously making it illegal to prevent said infection.

    Pro-life my ass.

  8. baal says

    This case exemplifies why moderate or liberal christians share culpability with the hard line immoral bastards. Absent moderates support, the hardliners could not be this loony.

  9. gwen says

    Something similar happened to Rick Santorum’s wife, but they elected to abort the fetus. Yes, THAT Rick Santorum who would like to make it ILLEGAL in the US for YOU to have an abortion under the same circumstances, saying that in his case, it was ‘different’, eg his wife is more valuable than your wife, mother, sister or daughter.

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