July 30, 2008
Where to begin with this story… A nurse in Birmingham, England gave an abortifacient drug to the wrong woman. It seems that in the interests of confidentiality, they call women from the waiting room by their first names-whereupon the nurse is to verify the identity. It just so happens that a woman who wanted a consultation and a woman who wanted an abortion shared the same first name. Guess which one got the abortion-confidentially, of course.
Sadly this is not unheard of in Europe. A 2004 case of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Vo v. France, dealt with precisely the same issue. In the case at hand Vo, a Vietnamese immigrant, was mistaken for another woman while at the hospital for prenatal care, and mistakenly given an abortion. She sued under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“Everyone’s right to life shall be protected.”) to vindicate the lost right of her child. Of course the ECHR was about to do no such thing.
Both cases reflect the awful truth about abortion in our society: it’s not about choice at all. The nurse in Birmingham violated the mother’s freedom of choice by giving her an undesired abortion, and she gets to keep her nursing job with a “caution” on her permanent record. Vo’s freedom of choice was violated and the ECHR refused to acknowledge the rights of the child she grieved. But what’s a mother’s choice to have a child next to the goal of legalized abortion? After all, the pro-aborts say, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.