The Right’s Fetus Obsession

11 Nov

Over the course of the past year there has been a lot of media coverage that has highlighted the fetus. For those of you who are unclear, the definition of fetus is “The unborn offspring from the end of the 8th week after conception (when the major structures have formed) until birth. Up until the eighth week, the developing offspring is called an embryo.”

Former President George W. Bush recently shared information regarding an incident where his mother, First Lady Barbara Bush, showed him a miscarried fetus in a jar.  At the beginning of the year, it came to light that the state of Florida and a family obstetrician had confined a local mother to the hospital, on “bed rest,” to protect the life of the fetus she was carrying. Unfortunately, this did not do what it intended, because this woman still miscarried. And, finally, someone dug up this case from antiquity (and Canada) to argue against legal, safe access to abortion.

The case, for those of you who are not inclined to click the link (it’s long, I know), the story goes something like this: 1996: Brenda Drummond, a 29 year-old mother of two, decided, for whatever reasons, that she did not want to carry her fetus to term. She proceeded to put a pellet gun into her vagina and shoot it. One can only assume that she did this to either terminate her pregnancy or to kill herself. Regardless, the baby was born healthy two days later, though he needed to have emergency surgery to remove the pellet from his brain. The baby recovered fully and continued to do well. Brenda was arrested, charged with an obscure Canadian law and held in a psychiatric unit while her case went to trial. Long story short, Brenda was acquitted of all charges because Canadian law does not permit “personhood” to the unborn.

I am not even really sure where some anti’s found this case, but I saw it highlighted on STFU Anti-choicers . It’s obscure, at best, and irrelevant, at worst.

What I can’t seem to figure out is the logic behind highlighting a case like this one. This has nothing to do with abortion rights (except for, thank you Canada, recognizing the rights of the mother over the “rights” of the fetus). What does this one woman’s situation have to do with the right to abort an embryo or a fetus? What does almost any fetus story have to do with abortion rights? Barbara Bush’s story was a wanted pregnancy that, unfortunately, did not, on its own, make it to term. The woman in Florida was also a wanted pregnancy that did not make it, despite medical and governmental intervention.  These were wanted pregnancies. Brenda’s was not. Still… nothing to do with the right to have an abortion. Unless I’m wrong here.

This seems to have to do with highlighting the “crazy.” It seems to be the same thread, over and over. “Women are not sane enough to make decisions about their bodies. See? Look at this psychotic woman. Just look at her. How can you trust someone like her to make a decision about having a baby? Honestly. How?”  I can see absolutely no other reason to use this case to argue against abortion. Wouldn’t Brenda have been safer if she could have gone to her physician and requested one? Instead, she shot herself in the vagina.

When anti’s use cases like this one to argue against safe access to abortion, I point to how desperate one must be to willingly stick a gun into any orifice in ones body and pull the trigger. Women who do not want to be pregnant will find a way to not be.


6 Responses to “The Right’s Fetus Obsession”

  1. Holly November 11, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    As I read this post, I thought maybe I had missed something. How could a woman putting a pellet gun into her vagina and pulling the trigger have anything to do with an argument being used to outlaw safe and legal abortion? Turns out I wasn’t exactly missing something as it just doesn’t make any sense, as you pointed out in the conclusion of this post.

  2. Lauren November 14, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    Brenda may have been safer had she been allowed to go to her doctor and request an abortion rather than shooting herself in the vagina.

    BUT the baby would have been dead… rather than alive with a scar in his head from the bullet in his brain.

  3. Author November 15, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    Yes, Lauren, that’s true, but what does this case have to do abortion rights? How does Brenda’s case change the landscape for the RIGHT to have one or not have one? This is where I’m confused, and I hope you can help me understand.

  4. Lauren November 15, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    Priding myself as a logical “anti-choicer” (if you believe there is such a thing) my honest answer is – I HAVE NO IDEA. I certainly wouldn’t use it to prove any point and have not seen it on any of the PRO LIFE sites that I frequent.

    If I ever come across this case in my rounds I will come back and let you know.


  1. Tweets that mention The Right’s Fetus Obsession | Abortion Gang -- - November 11, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Abortion On Demand and Roxy MtJoy, The Abortion Gang. The Abortion Gang said: new post: The Right's Fetus Obsession […]

  2. Sunday Smorgasbord and Snarkfest. » The Gaytheist Agenda - November 14, 2010

    […] and women knew their place.   It’s hard to decide if the RRRW is more obsessed with fetuses or gay sex. They are definitely obsessed with other people’s genitals, which is decidedly […]

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