Forced C-Section Raises Interesting Question about Abortion in the Future

Ireland has made many abortions illegal, even to the point of mandating a forced C-section. The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act does allow the possibility of a few exceptions. If a woman is suicidal or her baby is the product of rape or incest, then she can request permission to have an abortion.

keep ireland abortion-free

So a woman claimed that she was suicidal. She was an immigrant to Ireland and didn’t know the procedure. By the time she finally reached a hospital with her condition, she was told it was too late to have an abortion.

So she threatened a hunger strike. At that point, the “local health authorities” got a court order to force the woman to have a C-section. The baby was delivered at 25 weeks and is now being cared for by the state.

Now, I am not a big fan of forcing C-sections on women or even threatening them. But in other cases it has been about health choices. I don’t approve of women smoking during pregnancy but it is their choice and their risk and we all know that babies have been born to smokers who are perfectly healthy. Using coercion is far more socially disruptive than the risk. But it seems different to me when the mother’s stated objective is to kill her child.

So here is my question: What happens to the abortion debate when we have working, affordable artificial wombs?

What will be used to justify abortion if a procedure that is no more invasive than an abortion can be used to transplant a child from the womb of an unwilling mother into a safe place where he or she can grow and develop until he or she is ready to come out and be adopted?

In this case, the woman was obviously not suicidal about being pregnant. She was claiming to be suicidal because she didn’t want the child.

Note how the Irish authorities gave her exactly what she wanted. At 25 weeks she desperately wanted a procedure that would make her no longer pregnant. So the medical authorities granted her a procedure that made her no longer pregnant.

What is her complaint?

Women say they favor abortion because they must have control over their own bodies. (I’m ignoring the strong case that such women are sock puppets for selfish and abusive men.) OK, in this case a woman demanded to be “unpregnant” and now she is—albeit not as soon as when she first made the demand.

Is it really about having control over their bodies, with the abortion as a necessary consequence, or is it about making sure there is a dead baby?