By Sarah Terzo
Pro-choice writer Carolyn McLeod says there should be “fairly radical changes in obstetrical practice” to dehumanize preborn babies. She says:
“… In some obstetrical contexts it may be appropriate to view fetuses as separate (e.g., in fetal surgery); however, overall, they should not be defined as separate or independent entities.
“During ultrasound scanning, sonographers and physicians should try to avoid descriptions which suggests that they are self-sustaining beings.…
“We need a model of pregnancy as a relation, but not one that is so exact that it cannot accommodate varying degrees to which women view their fetuses as part of them.”
Carolyn McLeod, Self–Trust and Reproductive Autonomy (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2002) pp. 159-160.
Of course, scientifically, preborn babies are “separate and independent entities” and not a part of a woman’s body. McLeod seems to see a threat in the way sonographers and obstetricians regard preborn babies and communicate their existence to mothers. This seems to threaten the pro-choice talking point that preborn babies are not human beings.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Clinic Quotes and is reposted with permission.