Saturday, March 2, 2019

A tragic crime, and a moral dilemma

I was horrified to read of a rape in Argentina, and its consequences.

A cesarean section carried out on an 11-year-old girl raped by her grandmother's husband has reignited the debate about abortion in Argentina, which has strict rules against female reproductive rights.

"I want you to take out of my tummy what the old man put there," the girl had said in a complaint lodged with authorities in the northern province of Tucuman.

She and her mother then submitted an abortion request.

That procedure took seven weeks, though, as doctors invoked their right to conscientious objection.

Argentine authorities often drag their feet in such cases until the legal window for an abortion has passed.

At 23 weeks, doctors deemed the girl to be in danger but instead of an abortion, they performed a caesarean section.

. . .

"The state is responsible for torturing Lucia," said #NiUnaMenos, which means 'not one less,' one of the feminist organizations leading the campaign to legalize abortion.

The Tucuman local government justified its actions, claiming to have put in place "the procedures necessary to save both lives."

There's more at the link.

That's just too sickening for words . . . and it highlights the dilemma caused by conflicting evils.  I am strongly pro-life, and against abortion, because the child in the womb is as much a human being as its mother, or anyone else, and deserves all the protection we afford to any human life.  On the other hand, to force an eleven-year-old child - too young to safely give birth vaginally - to carry her rapist's child, when she probably doesn't have a full or clear understanding of pregnancy except that she was brutally violated by someone she presumably trusted - that's just as evil.  There's no other way to describe it.

This is where purity of religious or moral doctrine runs headlong into the brick wall of reality.  The irresistible force meets the immovable object.  No matter what choice one makes, evil is going to result.  That's guaranteed . . . so how does one choose between them?  And, if I were in a position of authority in this matter, how would I act?  What about my personal responsibility for any action I authorize or approve?

If I were a doctor, or a priest advising a doctor, I would have immense moral objections to aborting a baby when there was no medical reason for doing so:  but I'd also understand the immense stress placed on the underage rape victim as a result.  Kill an innocent baby?  Place an innocent victim in a position where she must go on reliving the tragedy and agony of her rape every day, through what she carries inside her?  Both alternatives are just too ghastly to contemplate.

I suspect I'd authorize the abortion, on the grounds that an underage, non-consenting mother like that should not be made to suffer further . . . and then I'd crawl into my church on my knees, hoping and praying God would understand my dilemma in having to choose between two great evils, and that He would forgive me if I made the wrong choice.  I'd live the rest of my life wondering about that (and, yes, fearing the consequences).

What say you, readers?  Please don't fight each other over this, or be rude to one another.  Everyone has their own moral and ethical perspective, and we know we're going to differ.  This is a moral dilemma any of us might face one day.  How would you cope with it, at least in theory?  Please let us know in Comments.



CDH said...

Execute the rapist, not the baby. Comfort the child with all compassion possible and c-section once the baby is viable and healthy. Frankly and medically if the child is physically mature enough to conceive her system is likely able to support a pregnancy at least well into the 3rd trimester. Yes she has to suffer, but I don't see her suffering to be the greater evil over aborting an otherwise healthy baby.

Dad29 said...

CDH has it: Executing the child of the criminal is not a solution.

As to "which choice" to make: CHOOSE LIFE! (That's an imperative you can find at least twice in the OT.)

NobobyExpects said...

What CDH said, minus execution.

It is clear what the lesser evil is.

Jess said...

The violence, and the hate for the rapist, are both terrible reasons to punish the innocent.

Faith says all things are God's will, regardless of the circumstance. While some might think the abortion is a form of justice, the reality may be God's plan for something good.

McChuck said...

Execute the rapist. The penalty for rape is death. Go read your Bible.

Abort the fetus if within the first 16 weeks. Rape and incest are both factors in this case. Past that point, the infant can be delivered medically if carried to term, then given up for adoption. The choice, in this instance, belongs to the child and her parents.

At some point, practical morality must take the place of theoretical morality.

Larry said...

I agree with McChuck. If it can be done soon enough, an abortion at that point is, to me, if an evil, certainly a lesser one. Forcing a little 11-year-old child to carry a fetus to full-term is hazardous to her long-term physical health and amounts to psychological torture of her.

binky said...

The state and the doctors are not responsible for this littlr girls suffering. The man who raped her is.
Paul in Texas

RustyGunner said...

Just goes to show that life is terribly complex and nothing to do with morality is ever pure and cast in stone. More evil has been done by people who deny that truth than by anyone else.

Beans said...

Okay, well, this hits near and dear to my heart.

I know one person who was raped by her father, at 11yoa, and got an abortion (which, after meeting all the mental defectives on the father's side of the family, does make sense) and to this day still cries over the loss of the child, the only child she was able to carry past 8-12 weeks.


Abortion. It should be legal, but not with walk-in service like today. It should include counseling and alternatives and past a certain point, only allowable if the life of the mother is really threatened (not because it's an inconvenience.)

As to the rapist, and the mother who covered up the rapes and actually encouraged them so SHE could get 'presents' and go catting out on her 'husband,' well, I still get the urge to find his grave, dig it up, drive a stake through his chest, separate his head, stuff the body cavity with garlic, pour liquid silver down what remains of the throat, sprinkle the body with Holy Water, place Holy Wafers on what's left of the eyes, expose the body to sunlight, burn the remains and scatter the ashes of head and body on separate sides of a fast moving body of water. Her? Already cremated, just waiting for the day...

I'm not bitter and angry, am I???

So, pro-life, but pro-life of the mother, too. Legal abortion as a rare event, like removing a septic organ, not abortion on demand like elective surgery to get one's boobs adjusted.

Rapists and their enablers need to meet a fiery and hot death to match the fiery and hot afterlife they will end up.

Tracy Coyle said...

I do not face a moral dilemma based on a religious foundation as I don't ascribe to any such religion (am agnostic), but my moral foundation rests upon individual rights, so....

Prior to viability: Abortion for the child so that the fruit of evil dies. (Yes, despite being agnostic I KNOW evil exists).

IF actions (as happened in this case because the authorities forced it to) result in a viable child...I would do the C-section. However, I do so acknowledging that the fetus attained rights by viability and those competing rights don't go a way just because one personage is evil incarnated.

And yes, I would 1) castrate the male rapist, 2) then imprison him for life.

The infant should be far removed from the mother.

Old NFO said...

Agree with McChuck.

HMS Defiant said...

You finally bring yourself to make allowances.
First you kill the rapist.
Then you sit down with the girl and ask her. What does she want.
The question is up front and at the start.
If the response if vehemence and rejection, well, there is the answer.
If you can share a conviction with her that the innocent is inside her and can get out safely
She might go along.
You'd need to be there though.
if the mother of the girl was complicit, check around the area to see what else happened there.
I believe that 11 or 12 is too young to raise an infant. It wouldn't work out well for either.

I'd give the babies to gypsies before I turned it over to the Catholic Church.

Dave said...

Can an eleven year old female even carry a child to term?

Beans said...

Dave, yes, an 11 year old can carry to term. Depending on how mature her body is, she may even be able to birth it naturally. Most likely, though, it will require surgical birth and between child-carrying and the birth experience, most likely long-term damage will occur to the reproductive system, if not the whole body.

takirks said...

There is an unknown and perhaps unknowable portion of "who we are" that's based on genetic factors. One has to look at that, and wonder whether or not it's a wise idea to allow whatever genetic traits and tendencies created an adult who could rape an 11-year old girl to continue to propagate themselves through our communal gene pool.

I'm gonna vote for culling the bastard's get, if only to ensure that we don't reward the behavioral genes influencing his actions. Genes are very likely not predictive, but they are certainly indicative of probability. Which is why you have family lineages of spousal abuse and so forth, even separated by things like adoption.

I don't know how much genes influence behavior, but observation tells me that they certainly must--I know of more than a few cases where there is no possibility of personal influence, yet there are clear behavioral similarities between separated lineages.

Acquaintance of mine was adopted by a very nice, very white-bread middle-class family. His biological father was pretty much a scumbag, spouse-abusing philanderer who got a young girl pregnant and whose family then forced her to put the resultant kid, my acquaintance, up for adoption. Lo and behold, with precisely zero personal influence, he turned into the same sort of "man" that his father had been. Seen the same thing, multiple times in varied circumstances, enough to convince me that at least some behavioral stuff is rooted in genetics, and is heritable.

Which is why I'm entirely ambivalent about culling the results of a rape. Daddy's a rapist...? Well, there's probably a good chance anything coming from that sire is going to have a potential for inheriting that same crap, and while I want to believe that everyone is born tabula rasa, and that we write our own books...? I've seen things to the contrary way too often.

Not sure what I'd do if it were my decision, but I'm not going to weep too much over that rape victim's abortion.

McChuck said...

takirks - In the words of our elders, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

John Prigent said...

It does seem that some of the doctors involved were more interested in showing off their religious beliefs than in showing any compassion for the youg girl. I was given free run of their bookshelves by two highly-thought-off theologians and learnt a lot. I shall never forget what one of them said to me: 'never mind how the priests argue over WHEN a new soul enters a baby's body, always be compassionate to the vistim'. I'd say the greatest sin was committed by those who stood in the way of a suffering child until abortion was too late.

Poodlehorde said...

Something to keep in mind, the longer you wait the more danger there is to the mother. A n early term abortion is an outpatient proceedure, while a caesarian is major surgery with all its attendent dangers. Seems a bit much to put risking the girl 's life on top of all the other insults.

Unknown said...

Abortion would still be the wrong decision. Where women have conceived from rape (a 1% outcome) and had an abortion, they describe it as like being raped again but this time it's a medical kind of rape.

A lot will depend on the physical development of the girl, but it is perfectly acceptable to do a caesar and bring about an earlier than normal delivery rather than at full term. The girl will have some unscheduled growing and adjusting to do, but it's far better than being saddled with a greatly increased rate of mental health issues.

Wayne Johnson said...

Honestly, I am a bit appalled that you consider abortion appropriate in any circumstances. If you truly believe that the unborn child is a human being, then abortion is murder. How is it ever appropriate to murder an innocent human being for the sins of his or her father.

I think it could be reasonable to do an early c-section well after viability (32 weeks?). While there would be an increased risk to the child, it would reduce the risk to the mother. I understand there is a balancing of harms, but the convenience and health of the mother NEVER justifies murder.

D.J. Schreffler said...

I would go with birth, however is safest.

Were I a juror, I would invoke the death penalty were it allowed in a case of rape.

Were my daughter raped...I'd probably end up on trial for manslaughter, homicide, or murder.

steve said...

Fence staples, a dull knife, and a straddle a burning post for the fella.
Early abortion or ceaserian if to late for the child.
So very sad such evil is brought into childrens lives.

Unknown said...

The Bible says it best:

"The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him."

Ezekiel 18:20

This woman was conceived in a rape. Would it have been ok to kill her?