I recently wrote about the El Savadoran women, known only as Beatriz, who had been denied an abortion, despite the facts that the foetus was non-viable and her life was endangered is the pregnancy was continued. Monday, her life was saved some semantic manipulation and a cesarean section. Of course the foetus did not survive.
After debating Beatriz’s petition for a therapeutic abortion — a request supported by her doctors, the Salvadorian health ministry and international human rights groups — for seven weeks, the court ruled against the procedure, but determined that doctors “could proceed with interventions” if Beatriz’s health continued to deteriorate due to her kidney failure and lupus.
This is where the semantics enter the picture. Almost immediately after the court ruling, the Health Ministry ordered the c-section.
“At this point, the interruption of the pregnancy is no longer an abortion. It is an induced birth,” [ Health Minister Maria Isabel] Rodríguez, said of the cesarean on Thursday.
What is the fucking difference? If they had determined that an ‘induced birth’ was allowed weeks ago, she would not have suffered the stress and indignity of a court case and the prolonged assault on her body.
Morena Herrera, a spokeswoman for the abortion rights group Colectivo Feminista, told Reuters that she believed the court could have spared Beatriz unnecessary pain and suffering — Beatriz had been hospitalized for weeks due to pregnancy-related health complications, during which she was separated from her 14-month-old son — but remained grateful the health ministry had intervened to save her life.
I too, am glad that Beatriz is recovering, and I wish her a long an happy life, with as many children as she wants.
Perhaps we should change the name of all procedures from induced abortion to induced birth. That should satisfy those people who have an aversion to women’s reproductive rights, while allowing them to save face with their peers.
Late term abortions are extremely rare unless the women’s life or health is seriously impacted, or the foetus is non-viable. In early term abortions, the foetus is always non-viable. Changing the name of the procedure to induced birth should satisfy everyone—it sustains both women’s rights and opponents’ hypocrisy.