To venable (verb): To randomly muse upon this and that.

Foetus or Baby?

In the news yesterday were the tweets from Charlotte Church indicating that she had lost her unborn baby. Here is a report from the BBC for example. I also read indications that the baby was due in November. Interesting isn’t it that in all the news reports everyone is calling this an “unborn baby”; no-one is saying that it is a “foetus”. Interesting as well that, presuming that the November date was correct, then the pregnancy was at about 20 weeks and abortions are allowed up to the 24 week period in this country. So Charlotte Church had “a baby” because it is wanted, but another baby at the same stage of gestation would be termed a foetus and aborted because it was unwanted. 

The thing that shocks me with regard to all this is how the baby in the womb is apprehended. I used to think that pro-choice just meant that people were free to choose whether or not they wanted their pregnancy to be terminated. But I seem to have been quite naive. Or has the way of thinking changed in a more sinister way? It seems now that pro-choice means I am free to choose whether or not that which is within my womb is a baby or a disposable foetus. And what is the criteria for the choice? The criteria is simply this: If I want the pregnancy to continue so that a baby can be born then it is a baby. However, If I do not want the pregnancy to continue then that which is within the womb is a foetus.

There is no objective assessment here, it is all simply down to my appreciation of the situation. This is moral chaos. Now I do not want to minimise the upset for Charlotte Church on the loss of her baby; that is no doubt very real. But, let us no forget this is what happens every time a pregnancy is terminated: a baby actually dies and therefore a life is taken.

I do not want to be alarmist, but it does not take a huge shift in thinking to move to a situation whereby people can start to think of babies outside the womb in a similar way. If I want the child then it is a baby I love, if I don’t want it then it can be disposed of. This is where the moral anarchy surrounding our appraising of the baby in the womb leads. All this reminds me a bit of what Pharaoh did in Exodus 1, when he decided that certain babies were inconvenient for his purpose and could be treated as non-persons. We read: The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, ‘When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.’ (Ex. 1:15-16).

The push in this direction is further exemplified in yesterday’s vote by the British Medical Association to lobby for a decriminalization of abortion see here

Comments on: "Foetus or Baby?" (3)

  1. Newspeak, innit.

  2. But I guess that one way in which we can help to reverse the tide of killing is always to speak of babies in the womb as babies or people, sons or daughters, never foetus, fertilised ovum or embryo.

  3. Thanks Dave. Or even to go a stage further and avoid “pregnant” and “pregnancy”, but use “with child” instead.

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