Saturday, May 26, 2007

Baby in the toilet

Is the value of the life of the newborn the next step down the slippery slope? That is what today's National Post editorial seems to be suggesting. (Born unto Walmart)

The fact that this woman chose a Walmart toilet cubicle as a birthing room is rather symbolic itself - discarding unwanted 'solid waste' in a store that sells a high volume of low-priced goods in a throw-away society. Gee, I wonder if she picked up some discount toilet paper on the way out.

(Kudos, BTW to the Walmart manager that saved the baby's life!)

As I was discussing yesterday, George Jonas reminds us of how we tend to overvalue a woman's right to self-fulfillment at the expense of new life:

Living in an epoch that is selfish as well as matriarchal, of all the styles that we shield from being cramped, we put women's style first. We invent euphemisms, such as "choice" for killing, and sophomoric dilemmas, such as pretending not to know when life begins, to ensure that nothing hinders Virginia's quest for Santa Claus. No obstacle must interfere with her goal of self-fulfillment -- least of all an issue (as it were) of her healthy sexual appetite. There's plenty of babies where this one came from, eh, Ginny? And if not, we can always import some from Somalia.

What the writer of the Post editorial seems to be railing about, and with which I agree, is that society is far too compassionate or lenient towards the type of woman who commits this horrible act. Leaving a newborn face down in Walmart toilet is far different from ringing a doorbell and leaving the baby on someone's front porch.

But here's the paragraph that bothered me:
We have never subjected them to the same treatment as murderers. But we have never treated the drowning of infants as acceptable, either. One hopes, not so much for the sake of future babies as for ourselves, that this will not change. We have, by and large, learned to reluctantly accept a legal philosophy that endows an infant with the full human package of moral claims and entitlements to protection only at birth, and no sooner. Is the line to be pushed forward still further in the name of compassion for reckless mothers?

Who is "we"? The royal "we"? The editorial board "we"? Or are they suggesting that "we as a society" have learned to accept that an infant is only a person once they leave their mothers' body?

Because that, I will never accept.


Jim said...

The use by Jonas of the phrase "pretending not to know when life begins" is ingenuous as he ignores the small chance that the beginning fetus has of surviving to a baby. Spontaneous early abortion is the norm, not an aberration.

Probably, Jonas should talk about the degree that the fetus is human with the beginning at zero and only reaching 100% at birth.

Roy Eappen said...

Great post Joanne. babies have become more of a fashion accessory for some women. It is all very sad.
As to Jim. It is DNA that makes one humand and a baby has its DNA since conception. It is true that its viablity only starts at around 23 weeks, but it is undeniably human and alive since conception.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks Dr. Roy.

babies have become more of a fashion accessory for some women. It is all very sad.

How true. You only have to read the tabloids in the grocery store to see that. Babies are commodities; or parasitic tumours.

Anonymous said...

What judge will convict a woman of murder or attempted murder for this atrocius act , when it is legal for an abortionist to kill the baby up to one minute before it is 'born'?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anon - Exactly. If the woman is ever found, we will hear all the bleeding hearts telling us that the poor thing had 'problems' and that we should be compassionate; overlook it.

Jim said...

It's strange. I can eat an omelet without regarding it as a chicken.

You confuse a process with a category. A fetus is not a human until it is born.

Anonymous said...

jim...since you are oversimplifying to rationalize your moral call on this situation, I'll take it even further...if these women don't want babies ,then don't have sex.There.. all kinds of moral dilemma worked out...
now let's get back to reality shall we?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I can eat an omelet without regarding it as a chicken.

Do you eat fertilized chicken eggs Jim?

Sheena said...

Which came first?

Brian in Calgary said...

Joanne, I suspect that if the woman is found, she'll start pleading for custody of "her" child, and the courts will likrly, of course, grant it. They shouldn't, but they probably will.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Yeah, Brian, you're probably right.

Sheena - lol!

SUZANNE said...

Just recently in Britain, a woman received a 12-month suspended sentence for an illegal abortion, past the 24-weeks. I would add that she was involved in an adulterous relationship that she was trying to hide.

This does not give much of a disincentive to not kill.

In Canada, infanticide gets a maximum of 5 years. I'm all for taking into account mental health in sentencing because I can see how post-partum depression could lead a mom to kill, but I think that mental illness or instability has to be proven, not just assumed, as our legal system seems to do.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks for that info Suzanne.

It seems the mother has come forward now. Doesn't look like charges will be laid at this point. (Surprise, surprise).

RGM said...

"Living in an epoch that is selfish as well as matriarchal . . ."

Matriarchal? Where can this epoch be found? Because it's not here.

Brian in Calgary said...

I hope, Joanne, you'll keep us up to date as to the progress of any legal proceedings. I don't trust our media to keep us informed. Every time I hear of something like this, it literally almost makes me sick, particularly when I think of mothers like my niece, Marilee. A year ago tomorrow she gave extremely premature (at least 4 months early) birth to a little boy named Michael who lived only three hours after his birth and who died in his mother's arms. It devastated both mother and father, and even though she has just today given birth to another little boy (named Luke) who is very strong & healthy (and who reportedly looks like his father), this is something that a truly loving parent never really gets over.