Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A New Portrayal of Abortion

In Breakpoint's Worldview Magazine today, Gina Dalfonzo has an outstanding article on the way our culture's perception of abortion is changing, as illustrated by the TV show House, M.D. I've never watched the program before. But as Ms. Dalfonzo points out, science is making it increasingly clear that the baby in the womb is still a baby, and our culture's discussion of abortion is being forced to deal with that truth.

Here's a key part of the article:

By 1995, staunchly pro-abortion feminist Naomi Wolf would shock pro-lifers and pro-choicers alike when she wrote in The New Republic, “Abortion should be legal; it is sometimes even necessary. Sometimes the mother must be able to decide that the fetus, in its full humanity, must die. But it is never right or necessary to minimize the value of the lives involved or the sacrifice incurred in letting them go. Only if we uphold abortion rights within a matrix of individual conscience, atonement and responsibility can we both correct the logical and ethical absurdity in our position and consolidate the support of the center.”

In one breath, Wolf was arguing that the fetus is indeed a human life and that we must recognize it as such to be able to speak about abortion with the honesty the subject requires; in the next, she was still insisting that there are certain circumstances under which it is necessary, even right, to take that life.

Ms. Dalfonzo goes on to tell about an episode of House, M.D. in which the doctor is operating on a baby still in the womb, after the mother has refused to abort the child. During the operation, the baby's hand reaches out to grasp the doctor's finger. That picture, based on a real-life account, made a tremendous impact on the viewing audience (follow the link for more on that story). And as Ms. Dalfonzo points out,

Like ultrasound images, TV shows have the power to create moments that linger in people’s minds long after political speeches have faded.

Perhaps, after all, the pro-life movement will win the battle for the unborn by capturing not the government, but the culture—by turning people’s very hearts against abortion. That we should be aided in this effort by Hollywood, of all communities, is a proof of the greatness and grace of God that even Dr. House
would find hard to refute.


Siddigfan said...

I LOVED that episode! I also love the part where, after the surgery the mother catches House now calling the fetus a 'baby' and, at the end, the mother is shown at home enjoying her new little one. Then House is lying on the couch at home watching TV and absent-mindedly still rubbing together the fingers the baby touched. I am devotedly pro-life (My car is held together by pro-life bummper stickers). It was great to see the character of House take this small step into a possible attitude change. House is my favorite TV show.

Marcy Muser said...

Hmm - maybe I'll have to watch it. It sounds like an interesting show!