Thursday, March 1, 2012

Heroes For Life in Films: Featuring Characters from I Robot and House

*For information about healing after abortion and why surgery for a tubal pregnancy is not considered an abortion (as long as there's no direct attack on the fetus), see the bottom of this post.

An Excuse to Talk About a Will Smith Movie-- Does he play one of the best reluctant heroes you ever saw?  Maybe it's just me. :)

In the film I, Robot, Will Smith's character, Detective Spooner's, mistrust of robots stems from an incident a few years back. He was in a car wreck. A trucker smashed Spooner's car into another car, running them off the road into a river. Everybody's doomed until a robot jumps in. It has just enough time to save one person. A little girl's trapped in one of the cars. We see her through the window. Spooner looks out through the window of the opposite car, yelling, "Save the girl!"

Who will the robot rescue?

In this heart-twisting flashback scene, we watch as the robot saves a protesting Detective Spooner.

As a robot, it has made the logical choice. It calculated that he, Spooner, had a 45% chance of survival, while the girl only had an 11% chance. Spooner explains through clenched jaw, "That was somebody's baby. 11% is more than enough. A human being would've known that." {I still get choked up, thinking about that line.}

This is the hero spirit, the knightly heart, the stuff legends are made of. ...Wait, wrong movie. (Coincidentally, it begins with "I" too.)

A while back, I wrote a blog post about sacrificing mothers. Similar theme, right? Knight in shining... er... black leather. Heroic Mom.  (BTW, I wish I could add another mother to that post, but we'll get to that in a moment.) We admire this self-sacrificing hero spirit in film, literature, and life. So, why the fight for the right to destroy babies in the womb on demand?

Some say it's because the pro-choicers don't realize a fetus is a human baby. That may be true for some, but not for my pro-choice friends. They all admit the unborn are human babies. One friend has even declared that human life begins at conception.
Disturbingly, all of my pro-choice friends are mommies and daddies. Our kids play together. They love their kids, breastfed their babies (well, the mom's did), snuggled them in slings, wouldn't dream of letting the little darling "cry it out" in a crib. Yet, they claim that sometimes it's the right thing for a mom to put her unborn to death. (I assume they aren't yet advocating for Dutch-style newborn euthanasia or what the Australian ethicists call "after-birth abortion".)

I can't understand why they have their belief, but I've tried digging into their brains to at least get parameters such what the cut off gestational age should be for abortion. Nobody gave me that, though one person advocated for anesthesia for the unborn being aborted. How kind. (I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.)
I'm not what you'd call a brave person. When the robots or zombies attack, I'll be whimpering under the bed, peeing my pants. But I'm glad that I can honestly look my children in the eye and tell them I would never put them in harm's way. I would protect them and their siblings (current and any future who may come to live in my womb) with my life. They know it. Even my youngest know what abortion is and my opinion of it.

The thing is, all kids are important enough to live, not just mine. Poor kids who love to ride bikes, rich kids with freckles, kids of teen moms who read comic books, kids of 42 year old moms who have contagious laughs, kids who have six older siblings and are the joy of the family, kids who are their mom's first kid and have big smiles and dark brown eyes, kids of mixed race who love to run, kids with one leg who like mint chocolate chip ice cream, and kids with low IQ's who love trains.  But you won't know these kids unless you let them live.

A Fictional Hero Mom
Cuddy and Emma

Now, I take you to an episode I saw recently of House. It's not a recent episode; I'm just a rerun junkie. Season 3, episode 17, "Fetal Position."

A highly successful photographer is pregnant, but the baby has multiple, obscure, hard to diagnose problems, because this is House, after all. Her liver is shutting down and she has about two days to live because of whatever is happening with her unborn baby. Doctor House wants her to terminate her pregnancy via D and C, aka kill her 21 week old fetus (as he keeps insisting on calling it). She absolutely refuses to consent to the abortion. So, Cuddy does her best to "pull a House like move" and come up with innovative solutions to save the baby, as she keeps calling him.

I love these lines:

House: You let this woman refuse to terminate, you’re helping her commit suicide. As her doctor, my recommendation is against suicide.
Cuddy: If the baby had a doctor, I think she would recommend exhausting all possibilities before taking its life.

In a moving scene the photographer's unborn baby hold's House's finger as he performs surgery on him in the womb. This echoes a famous photo.
House and Fetus hand

21 week fetus in surgery for spina bifida grips Dr. Bruner's hand
#Sources for fetal and "House" pics embedded in photo captions.

* Rachel's Vineyard offers healing after abortion for both men and women. God loves you no matter what!

*A Tubal pregnancy (or ectopic pregnancy )is one in which the baby stays in the fallopian tubes. The placenta cannot get nourishment for the baby, but the tube will usually eventually rupture and could kill the mother.
Removing the fallopian tubes in an ectopic pregnancy is morally acceptable because the procedure is not directly attacking the baby. The doctor is removing the infected tissue which, sadly, contains the baby. Please see this article at Catholic United for The Faith or this one from EWTN written by Edwin F. Healy for more information on the ethics of treating ectopic and other non-viable pregnancies. I wrote more about this in a previous blog post.


  1. What bothers me is that folks don't seem to get the connection between killed an 'unwanted' baby in the womb and killing an 'unwanted' Jew in a Nazi death camp.

    In both cases a human person has been declared less-than-human and killable. The main difference is that the 'unwanted' Jews were largely able to speak out concerning their shift from human life to less-than-human, while an unborn child, a 'defective' newborn, and a profoundly disabled person such as Terri Schiavo cannot speak out to defend their lives.

  2. Such good points, Nissa. I just wish I could figure out how to convince people, especially those who already agree that they're advocating killing human beings. By then, I think their morality is just too far from my morality, we're no longer talking the same language.

    But I guess a regular person, once they see an unborn child, hear the heartbeat, they'll think.

    Oh, and Terri Schiavo--only a monster or somebody with a heart of stone can hear about her story and not to be moved. Yeah, for most people it's a matter of learning and thinking.

    I get sooo many hits for my blog by people searching for phrases having to do with fetal gestation and abortion at "such and such" weeks. It's encouraging that people think and do research. I can't change the minds of people I know personally, but maybe I've saved a baby I'll never meet. Who knows? Maybe I'm doing no good at all, but I must try.