By Dave Andrusko
Sometimes it may help not to do the obvious: check out the date showing when something was published. That’s what I did, for good or for ill, when I ran across (and then read) a book review of “The Making of the Unborn Patient: a Societal Anatomy of Fetal Surgery.” The author of the book is Monica J. Sawyer, the reviewer Richard West.
So why is a (gulp) 15-year-old-review of use to us? For starters, while this predated a ton of new horizons in fetal medicine, the issues that so unsettle the likes of Ms. Sawyer are even “worse” (from their perspective) now.
West writes, “This book describes the development of interventions and surgical treatments for the fetus in the mother’s womb. Such treatments, whether medical or surgical, performed to benefit the health of the fetus inevitably affect the mother.”
This title of this book “is the phrase used here to describe the introduction of treatments primary directed at the fetus.”
It is, judging by a between-the-lines reading of West’s gentle review, a feminist diatribe against everything that reinforces the truism that the unborn child is a real, live patient. A “key goal” of the book (in Casper’s words) is “to reframe fetal surgery as a women’s health issue and to re-situate fetal personhood within the specific relationship in and by which it is produced.” (Emphasis added.)
In a masterful understatement, West observes, “This perspective results in questioning much of the practice of fetal surgery, but whether this perspective is shared by expectant mothers is debatable.”
West offers example after example of Casper’s over-the-top language. Examples include
“the new practice fascinates and horrifies because it transgresses a number of medical and cultural boundaries”…”breaches the womb in new and unsettling ways”….”makes us rethink some of our most cherished assumptions about life and the natural body”…inspiring wonder and concern about our capacity to alter human destiny.”
In case anyone could possibly miss Casper’s hostility,
“foetal surgery is not by any means ‘old stuff’ especially in terms of its social and political consequences. It is medicine without boundaries, cowboy surgery on what is considered ,at least for now, the final frontier.”
West then discusses what was even then the explosion of interventions to save unborn children. “Inevitably, such procedures have a profound effect on the mother when the direct benefit (if achieved) is to the fetus.”
Well, of course. Then the kicker, which drives the likes of Ms. Casper over the edge:
However, most mothers would probably want such surgery to be undertaken.
It is in the DNA of pro-abortion feminists to be threatened by what to the rest of us is wonderful news: We can help that little one by removing him or her out of the womb, repairing the problem that would otherwise kill or injure the child, and returning the passenger back to complete his or her journey.
What a bunch.
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