Things that make me mad – laws that convict people trying to do a good deed

This article from our local paper and this one from the Washington Post are both about Lloyd Goldson, a gynaecologist from Kingston who was arrested a week ago for performing an abortion on a twelve year-old girl. Her mother is being charged as well for cruelty to a child. Come to think of it, I’m not sure which child she’s being charged for.

Surprisingly I’ve never ranted before about abortions (or other morally dubious medical strategies). It’s weird, because this is such a passionate topic for me. Ever since high school, the great “abortion debate” has been waged, and I’ve somehow always been the only (or one of the few) pro-choice camper(s). And I use the word ‘debate’ loosely, because I don’t think any number of convincing arguments is going to convince this government to legalize abortions any time soon. Church. State. Nuff said.

So when I heard this tidbit come over the radio this morning on my way to school, I saw red. And it wasn’t just the colour of my school bus. The people behind me were arguing that abortion was illegal, so why do doctors keep doing them anyway? And in class why do they always mention terminating pregnancies so casually, like you can’t potentially lose your license by doing it? That was their argument.

So I turned around and (innocently, innocently I tell you) asked,

So what happen to the asshole who go breed the girl in the first place?

Whereupon they agreed that of course he should be brought to justice as well. But inside I was still churning. They are going to arrest the mother who brought her little girl to the doctor to help her, and the doctor who was trying to do a good thing. Yet the man who either (a) raped this girl or (b) had consensual sex with a minor (and it’s still rape, guys) is walking around scot-free. I find that fundamentally wrong.

I really feel for the doctors when I hear these cases, because they are sworn to “do no harm” but yet have to navigate all kinds of moral morasses in order to preserve life. And before someone gets self-righteous and picket-y, the doctor’s patient was the girl in this case. Not her unborn foetus. Twelve year olds are simply not equipped to have children; and he had to decide if the pregnancy would do more harm than the treatment (i.e. the abortion). If he’s as good a doctor as they say, then he’d have made what he thought was the best decision given the situation. I just hope they don’t lynch him for it.

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