In case you needed more evidence that the conservative “pro-life” crowd in America see women as little more than vessels for the carrying and birthing of children, you need look no further than Texas and the case of Marlise and Erick Munoz. In this cringe worthy confluence of reproductive rights and end of life decision-making, the Republican dominated government has seen fit to order Marlise, who reportedly suffered a from a blood clot known as a pulmonary embolism, to be kept on life support against the wishes of husband Erick and Marlise herself.
The decision comes about as a result of a state law which dictates that if a patient is on life support, without any hope of recovery, they (she) must be kept alive for the full term of a pregnancy if one is detected in course of treatment. In other words, in the eyes of Texas law, even women in persistent vegetative states with do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders and living wills that ask that they be allowed to die naturally, lose their rights and options in the face of a pregnancy, becoming living incubators as opposed to human beings worthy of respect.
Marlise, who was hospitalized just a week after Thanksgiving, was declared beyond treatment after doctors revived her lifeless body by use of electric shocks and the administration of drugs. During examinations, medical staff found that Marlise was approximately 14 weeks pregnant. Due to the presence of a fetal heartbeat, doctors were then legally prohibited from carrying out the family’s will to let the now unresponsive wife, daughter and mother pass with dignity.
Making matters worse, many more vocal “pro-life”/anti-choice activists have begun chiming in with claims that husband Erick merely wishes to let his wife pass to ‘get out of’ being father to another child. Classy as always, pro-life conservatives who’ve caught wind of the story are celebrating it as a dark victory for what they regard as the sanctity of human life. Overlooking the absence of a mother the child to be born will have to grapple with, the prolonged and frankly horrifying manner in which the Munoz family is now forced prolong their grief and mourning as their departed loved one is turned into a living incubator on government orders and of course, the basic violation of Marlise’s wishes and dignity, it could ALMOST seem reasonable to take such a position…
…assuming of course that one was able to first rid themselves of all sense of decency, humanity or compassion for those in pain. Because all life is sacred, right? At least…until it’s born.