It’s been a day since the news went viral about Savita Halappanavar. Thousands have come out to protest all over Ireland, demanding action on the X case. Damn near every blogger I know has written something about this. Politicians and doctors have made their statements.
And from the pro-life movement…silence.
Now I’m not saying that they’re cowards who prefer to allow women they consider unsatisfactorily pure to die silently, unable to paint them as heartless fiends, but it does seem odd that when the nearly 50,000 uterus havers a year die without a whole lot of media attention, they’re always there talking about killing babies, but the moment somebody with a name and a face that they can point to to say, “See? She didn’t murder her child!” arrives on the international scene, the room clears and suddenly there’s no voices to be heard.
Surely the Vatican, with it’s long tradition of standing up for the rights of the unborn has something to say about this being god’s will, right? Doesn’t Thomas Olmsted have a statement about the sanctity of life? So far, no response from the Vatican for this thing that happened in “a Catholic country.”
But wait, perhaps some of the prominent Catholic bloggers have something to say about this? I mean, they’re always rambling on about life and souls and whatnot. Let’s take a look at the Patheos Catholic channel and see what they have to say.
Let’s see. Fr. Dwight Longenecker spent yesterday begging for money to “spread the good word” (presumably that word was “septicaemia”), but he’s actually a priest so I expect he’ll spend a good portion of his time asking people to pay him to tell them stories.
Leah Libresco, former atheist who converted because she sees “Morality” as an anthropomorphic being or some such nonsense, tells us that this Sunday she officially joins the club that encouraged Savita’s death. Also, she plans to write about the arts and not football. I wonder where Morality was those three days while a woman was suffering horribly and doctors were refusing her life saving treatment? No answer here.
Mark Shea at Catholic and Loving It posted quite a few things yesterday. Surely he has something to say about this tragic death? No? Not even an acknowledgment that this woman’s unnecessary death is horrible and we should try to do better? Well, he does have a pro-life song that was posted, so surely that’s enough.
Calah Alexander discusses her workout routine. Marc Barnes again showcases his stunning lack of imagination while committing an equivocation fallacy. Elizabeth Scalia, Managing Editor of the Catholic Portal, discusses the USCCB’s “enthusiastic” support of the sainthood of Dorothy Day, which Day herself didn’t want.
Huh. None of them have anything to say about how followers of their faith, obeying unclear laws that the Church makes no effort to clarify, just let a woman suffer for three days and die horribly to protect a miscarriage. Not a one of them.
Friendly Atheist covered it. Libby Anne does yeoman’s work looking for responses from “pro-life” sites and their feelings on “life of the mother” exemptions. The STFU Conservatives Tumblr is one of the first places I read about it and they have been covering the protests since.
So, clearly there has been time for somebody to write something. Where is Tony Perkins? Shouldn’t Maggie Gallagher be holding a press conference like she does whenever she finds a pro-gay book in a school library? Bryan Fischer claims to be pro-life, where is he to say that this was a tragedy and to defend his opposition to having helped this woman?
Silence from all corners.
The fact of the matter is, these people can only thrive when the deaths are anonymous. The moment we had a name for one of the victims of their horrible and irrational beliefs, they needed to shut up and hide so nobody could ask them if Savita Halappanavar should have died, if it was god’s will, if they should have allowed her to be treated. They can’t answer these questions because the answers they would give would make them look like monsters if they were honest and undermine their message if they lied.
Fortunately, we are not silent. We who think human beings are worth more than dogma will not be quiet. The pro-life movement will, my guess within a month, be once again claiming that the life of the mother is never in danger enough to justify an abortion, so we have to be ready with just one word: Savita. Never let them forget the name of their victim. Never have a discussion where you don’t point out that irrationality killed a young woman.
Never be silent. Fill the silence left by the pro-life movement with the sound of her name.