Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fetuses, Babies, and Law & Order


Last night I actually turned the TV on and watched some shows.  Don’t laugh; it’s been over a year since I’ve done that.  Anyway, I came into the middle of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit followed by another Law & Order somewhere else (LA, I think).  I was amazed by what I saw.

As a Catholic writer I’ve spent a long time thinking that “the media” are largely pro-choice and that traditional forms of entertainment aren’t generally life-affirming.  Now, watching two shows isn’t exactly a comprehensive study of of what’s out there but here’s what I saw.

The SVU show centered around a woman who was born out of rape.  She made the comment “why didn’t my mom adopt me or abort me or something” and later on said “it was obvious she didn’t love me” to which the detective responded “she kept you, didn’t she?” implying that the mother obviously did love her daughter; even if she had a hard time showing it.  Isn’t that interesting?  So many of us—even “pro-life” people—say that abortion is fine in cases of rape but when we see it like this it becomes so clear that the life conceived that way is still a life.  A life that has no less value than any other.

The second episode was about a woman who was run down by a car.  She survived but her 14-week-old unborn baby didn’t.  I was shocked at the language used.   The child was always referred to as a “baby”; NEVER as a “fetus” or “embryo”.  The moment they discovered the woman was pregnant the case became a homicide.  The judge at the end said “baby killers never walk out of my courtroom”.  It was like listening to protesters outside an abortion clinic (ok, not exactly like that).  The idea that this unborn child was anything other than a normal human being with all rights and privileges was assumed; never even slightly called into question.  In fact, when the detectives found out the father tried to get the woman to abort they reacted with fury.

I’m not qualified to say what “most people” think on these issues but I can say that on one hand watching this on the TV was so natural I have to assume these sentiments are common.  Imagine who foolish someone would sound if they told they woman conceived from rape that she was somehow disposable or worthless.  What a callous and arrogant thing to say?  Who could listen to it?  But yet there are so many who say life conceived that way is disposable; as long as it’s not born yet.  Imagine the detectives finding out the woman who was run down by a car had lost her baby and said “no big deal, it was just a lump of tissue”.  Who would say that given the circumstances?  But people say unborn babies are “lumps of tissue” every day.

I guess it just shows how unnatural so much of the rhetoric is that people use to justify abortion.  If only unborn children could be seen and could speak the whole “debate” would end.  Regardless of what people say; I think we all know the truth.  It’s just very convenient to deny it sometimes.

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