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Money where their mouth is

Had a good week with Dad here. Over the weekend, we went to Weston-Super-Mare to visit Philip and family. Besides that, there's been the standard work-and-other-activities that I don't really want to write about every post.

I did play another game of footy today. My 3rd outing with a Welsh side seeing the second time Swindon was defeated. I'm now 2 from 3. We were up by one point at half time when I moved myself from full-back into the ruck. Along with most of the rest of the side, I played well. I won almost every hit-out with my classic body-as-battering-ram technique. Swindon don't like losing, and complained that I wasn't going for the ball (I'm not certain how they worked that out, given that, despite the contact, I still hit the ball, as well). They put their big, burly full-forward (who had been sniping and taking cheap shots all day) into the ruck for a contest. I was playing football. He wasn't. I won the contest, he achieved his aim (running into me very hard, although, in fairness, it was the contact with the ground that winded me).

But we won, and that was the main thing. Also, for the first time in about 12 years, I kicked a goal. I took a good, strong, overhead mark. I went back and kicked a horrible, mongrel floating kick heading straight for the far point post. Fortunately, a gust of wind sprung up, sending it just on the right side of the post.

Anyway, instead of writing about work, I thought I'd present a thought for you. As my readers will be well aware, I always favour compromise and moderate positions firmly entrenched in the centre ground. In that spirit...

Ok, if you've finished snorting and guffawing, I'll continue.

Anyway, in that spirit, I've been thinking about the anti-choice / pro-death arguments. The basic arguments run like this: one side claims that a woman as an autonomous being (or host) has the right to choice over her body, up-to and including whether she is permitted to get rid of a collection of cells that are parasitically growing off the host; the other side claims that said collection of cells constitute a living human, and any active termination is murder.

I know I have talked about this issue previously, but given that I have no obligation to consistency, I can re-visit issues as often as I like.

But today, I don't want to go into the rights or merits of either side. Instead, I want to suggest a solution. Being a big fan of technology, even though it does pose some ethical difficulties, I thought I'd look to medical technology for a solution. The seeds of this idea were first raised in an eminent Republican politician's position statement on reproductive issues. I don't think he went far enough though.

Instead of just developing the technology to enable men to carry foetuses to term, we should develop the technology to enable women to have foetuses safely extracted and transplanted into the bodies of any willing host, regardless of gender.

Think about how wonderful an outcome this would be. Women could retain control and autonomy over their own bodies: the pro-choice movement wins. At the same time, people who view the foetuses as living beings can put their money where there mouths are, and volunteer to act as hosts: the pro-life movement wins.

And everyone can smile collectively as George Pell spends the next many years playing the charming host...

Surely his "sanctity of life" views extend that far.


Comment from Gillian

Of course George Pell wouldn't go for it. He'd complain that it wasn't natural, and that God intended women to conceive and carry babies to term. As I understand it, the Catholic church prioritises the life of the foetus over the life of the mother anyway, so to allow anything other than the 'natural' way is going against god's law. (I still don't understand what the church has against IVF, but that's another question, I guess.)

I respond

I'm not qualified to discuss Catholic theology. If anyone does know someone who wishes to enlighten my readership on the relevant aspects of it, though, they are most welcome to contribute to discussion. My guess is the objection to IVF is based on spare embryos being generated from which only one is kept while the others end up in the bin. This wouldn't be an inconsistent position.

That notwithstanding, I don't think you should ascribe positions to Pell in advance. Although, obviously, Pell-as-leader wouldn't be carrying the foetus to term; He'd have a follower do so. The question comes in - if a woman will otherwise terminate a foetus, Pell considers that foetus a living human and Pell has the ability and permission to save the foetus without imposing his will on the host, is Pell otherwise complicit in what he considers murder?

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