Savita Halappanavar =/= Tonya Reaves

I saw this on posted on Tumblr earlier today:

Interesting how liberals get all up in arms when a woman dies unnecessarily and tragically overseas at the hands of Catholic law but could care less about someone in the states dieing because of a botched abortion at the hands of Planned Parenthood… Not a word from them… Planned Parenthood let this girl hemorrhage for hours without calling 911… What about Tonya Reaves? Why didn’t you pitch a fit about her? Why haven’t they been talking about this? Because they worship Planned Parenthood. Their religion is always right… especially when they let women bleed to death. No liberal would ever question Planned Parenthood… NEVER! We’ve heard NOTHING from them ! They don’t care about women. They care about abortion! They want abortion. Think clearly my friends, think clearly.

I found myself mulling over this post for a few hours and I decided a response was necessary:

The difference between Savita Halappanavar and Tonya Reavesis that one was most likely medical malpractice, an accident, and the other was the deliberate attempt to deny a woman a life-saving procedure because it  violated the doctors beliefs or Irish law condones those who place higher importance on the fetus or both.

While both examples above resulted in tragedy, the only common denominator is death. Comparing the two cases is comparing apples and oranges.

Abortion is one of the safest procedures performed in the United States. When a doctor messes up in any procedure, they don’t mess up because of their beliefs or the law, they often mess up because it’s an accident or they were themselves negligent—medical malpractice. If a plastic surgeon messes up, we don’t ban plastic surgery. When Kanye West’s mother died from liposuction, we didn’t ban liposuction. Similarly when Reaves was killed by a poorly performed abortion, we didn’t ban abortion.

But when a doctor REFUSES to perform a procedure that could save a woman’s life because of the law, that goes beyond medical malpractice, that goes beyond negligence. It’s an atmosphere that condones negligent treatment of the patient (or lack thereof).

Savita Halappanavar was denied what may have been a life-saving abortion even after doctors had established that the fetus would not survive because Irish law favors the life of the fetus over the mother.

That is not that same thing as a doctor messing up on a procedure.

Not even close.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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