World Magazine’s blog as links to several really interesting items in the news that pertain to issues of life and ought to shed some light on the issues involved.
First is the story of Rumaisa Rahman and her twin, both born September 19 in Chicago 25 weeks into pregnancy. They were delivered via C-section after complications emerged. Little Rumaisa is the smallest baby ever recorded to survive, being born at a whopping 8.6 ounces. Yes OUNCES. – roughly the size of a cell phone. Now there are many who would have you believe that a baby like Rumaisa is nothing more than a senseless blob of tissue taking up space in the womb, easily discarded if unwanted. Fortunately, those involved at Loyola Hospital (parents, doctors, etc.) took the persepctive that the lives of these baby girls matter and voila! – a medical miracle. The cruel irony is that the mother could have legally walked into a clinic and had the babies killed.
Along these more sinister lines we find the story about the mother who sued a South Carolina doctor in what is the first “wrongful life” lawsuit that I’ve ever heard of. The woman claimed that had the doctor told her that her son would be born with a birth defect (most of his brain is missing), she would have aborted him. Fortunately the South Carolina Supreme Court threw out the suit. Now my intent is not to make light of a tragic situation, but to show the practical outworkings of the functionalist / materialist view of humanity that has infused so many in our culture. This, in brief, is the view that human beings do not have inherent dignity (as being made in God’s image) but are only meaningful and capable of meaning to the degree they can do certain things or perform certain functions.
Finally, World discusses a lawsuit against he makers of the “morning-after” (abortion) pill, RU-486, in the wake of the death of Holly Patterson, an 18 year old who died from complications stemming from the pill. (This is not a story that has garnered much attention in the mainstream press… for obvious reasons).