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.