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Deception and the definition of an "abortion procedure"

As Leon Wolf aptly puts it at Redstate, this is the face of evil. A nurse in a lawsuit over conscience rights claims that she was told, "You just have to catch the baby's head. Don't worry, it's already dead." The hospital pretends that it is respecting nurses' conscience rights and that they are merely being asked to do routine care for patients before and after the abortion procedure, as if it were any surgery. In fact, the hospital even claims that nurses are not required to be in the room while the abortion procedure is going on.

Really? Is catching a dead baby a routine part of non-abortion surgeries? Obviously not. So we have a few options. 1) The hospital is deceiving or lying outright. 2) The nurse is lying outright. I'm having trouble coming up with other options. I suppose there might be a 3) The "catch the dead baby's head" order was not part of the normal working of the hospital's policy and won't be allowed to happen again.

There is no independent evidence for #3. I just made it up. The hospital certainly hasn't said anything of the sort.

Myself, I plump for #1. Under "lying outright" we would have simply forcing nurses to be in the room for the whole abortion, and that's that. Under "deceiving" we would have the abortionist doing some baby-killing thing--a poison shot to the child's heart, perhaps--followed by calling in the conscientious objector nurse to clean up the "detritus." As one commentator at Secondhand Smoke pointed out, in some abortion procedures this might be taking place over a fairly long period of time during which the woman's cervix was dilated after the child was killed by a lethal injection. That would make it somewhat easier for the hospital to pretend that it is respecting the nurse's conscience rights. Hey, it's the next morning after "the procedure." So of course catching the dead baby is just "post-abortion patient care."

And that's deception. By the way, where does "training" come in if we're talking about routine nursing skills that are the same for patient care before and after all surgical procedures? Wouldn't the nurses already have this training? But of course, it might take special training to clean up dead baby parts.

One other point that I don't know if anyone else has made about this: Think about the implications of giving pre-surgical care to a woman about to undergo an abortion. Even if what the nurse does really is in that case just routine medical stuff, here are two real people interacting. The nurse is not just a machine. And she knows that this person is about to have the life of her baby taken. At a minimum what is presumably being demanded is that the nurse say nothing to try to dissuade the mother at this last possible moment. Considering the hard work pro-lifers do to try to get an opportunity even to speak with abortion-minded women and suggest that they pursue other avenues, this is asking a lot and has major ramifications for the conscience of the nurses. Whatever conversation goes on (and patients and nurses do converse), how can the nurse in good conscience appear to approve of what the woman is about to do? What if the woman shows fear or second thoughts spontaneously? Is the nurse allowed to pick up on that and try to persuade her otherwise? What if the woman makes leading comments seeking to justify her action? Even "routine medical care" has enormous implications prior to a "surgical procedure" that is murder.

No, the hospital isn't respecting the nurses' conscience rights. What will happen next is anyone's guess. Legally, the situation is a bit odd. The nurses are evidently suing for alleged religious discrimination. This is smart, because it gives them standing. Their lawyer, however, is bringing up federal conscience protection laws, and in a similar suit elsewhere a federal judge ruled that federal conscience protection laws don't allow the individual to sue. Only Health and Human Services can enforce such laws if it feels like doing so. So I'm not sure exactly how the federal conscience protection laws will be brought in here. But more power to the nurses and to their lawyer. This is the face of evil, and it must be fought.

Comments (5)

Too bad they aren't Muslims. Then the liberals would have not choice but afford some measure of respect to their conscience rights since they are the sacrosanct "Other". If, however, they are just conservative Christians, then in the eyes of most white liberals they are just ignorant trash who can be justifiably coerced out of the nursing profession.

Too bad they aren't Muslims. Then the liberals would have no choice but to show some measure of respect to their conscience rights. After all, Muslims are the sacrosanct "Other" and the liberal demonstrates his moral superiority by acquiescing to them. If, however, they are just conservative Christians, then in the eyes of most white liberals they are just ignorant trash who can be justifiably coerced out of the nursing profession. Their consciences don't count because they are just defective liberals, not moral agents in full standing.

I'm only exaggerating by half.

Their consciences don't count because they are just defective liberals, not moral agents in full standing.

Ha, good way of putting it, Untenured.

I wonder how liberals would feel about a nurse working in a prison environment who was required to provide mere "pre-operative care" to an inmate who is hours from being executed--say, shaving his hair, or administering certain non-lethal drugs to assist in the procedure. Or perhaps merely helping the prison to dispose of the remains would do. I wonder whether they would see this as a violation of their consciences, should they be compelled to do so over and against their expressed ethical and moral objections. And I wonder how many liberals would respond to a nurse being told that taking part in such procedures is simply a part of what it means to be in the medical profession, and that they ought to just go into retail sales instead if they have a problem with that.

The bottom line is that the hospital not only refuses to respect their moral objections, they refuse to acknowledge the nature of those objections by treating them as a matter of squeamishness, rather than an assertion about the abortion itself. The nurses believe this procedure to be murder. Asking them simply to step outside during the climactic act of butchering is not less than a monstrously dishonest attempt to force them into being accessories to that murder. To pretend otherwise is to pretend that a man should have no objection to shoveling out the crematoria at Auschwitz, so long as he is not forced to actually handle any Zyclon B. BY forcing the nurses to participate in any stage of the procedure is to assume a pro-abortion conclusion, when that is the very question at issue.

Well said, Sage.

And this is even worse, because the woman is either a) fully complicit in the murder-to-come or b) being forced into it, which is supposed to be illegal but often happens anyway or c) being pressured into "agreeing" to the murder in an ambiguous zone.

In all of these cases, "prepping" the woman for the "procedure" is even a bigger deal for the nurse than prepping the "victim" of capital punishment. The nurse must pretend to the patient that *this procedure is all right*, thus becoming an accomplice in a very intimate sense. Only in case b could the nurse even hope to sound an alarm and prevent the murder.

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