Several intrepid readers have been slogging out the issue of a 9 year old having an abortion and the Vatican's response in the comment section to this post of Deborah's last week. They seem to be heading towards not agreeing to disagree, but recognising no one writing in the thread is likely to be converted to the other way of thinking.
McLeod meanwhile has put her thoughts on the matter out in the Dominion Post; fierce, coherent thoughts such as:
The cardinals and bishops who hang about the Vatican might learn much from conversation with little girls about how a child sees the world.
They might usefully check out their physical size, and compare them with adults in both their intellectual understanding and physical maturity. And then I doubt very much that they could insist they bear children. Only a brute could.
Cardinal Re is an important man. He heads the Pontifical Commission for South America, and the Catholic Church's Congregation of Bishops. When he speaks, he commands respect.
He says the twins conceived in this way had a right to live, though it is unclear whether he believes the child, their mother, has an equal one.
But wait, there's more!
In an era of new awareness about child sex abuse and the harm it does, the idea that a raped girl should be looked on in this way - as a compulsory vessel, living a nightmare - undermines all girls and women as human beings; and when it comes from a man of such standing in the Catholic Church, it is disturbing.I disagree with McLeod's concern about the rising number of abortions in New Zealand, and the debateability of the ethics of abortion in general, but otherwise my head nods along in agreement as I read.