Thursday, April 5, 2007

Please do not celebrate this House [Jay]

I understand why so many of my friends in the pro-life movement are happy about the episode of House this week. I really do. I am so clear on why it was a positive ending that I hate to be a stick in the mud and say that the producers of House have not taken a pro-life stance even when they produce a show that appears to have elements that agree with the pro-life stance. In fact I might even go so far as to say that this show was a pro-choice episode.

First, the priority on saving the child was predicated on the fact that (a) the mother in question would not consent to any treatment that would threaten her unborn child and (b) Dr. Cuddy’s empathy for the mother’s desires given her own age and trouble becoming pregnant through artificial insemination. House was fighting against the mother’s desire to have the child, not a recognition of the inherent humanity of the unborn. The fetus was wanted and therefore a baby.

Second, the diagnosis that House worked under had determined that the child was impossible to save and that continued treatments in an effort to save the baby would kill the mother and the child. The narrative, which is fictional, proved that this diagnosis was flawed. The idea that reckless medical care should be taken that risks the life of both the mother and the baby when we are certain that the baby is going to die is not a pro-life position as far as I know. It made for compelling television, though.

House has overseen two previous abortions, one earlier this year when he bullied a rape victim for a painfully long hour to do the “right” thing and kill the child. This show is a pro-choice manifesto. Children of rape ought to be killed in this world. Minors who are pregnant ought to be allowed to have an abortion without the consent of their parents in this show. And wanted babies deserve treatment.

When we get too excited about these things it demonstrates to me how desperate the situation is. We are so thirsty for a culture that has fully embraced the legalized killing of thousands of unborn human beings every day to show some signs of contrition that we jump at shadows. In my opinion, this episode was not our friend. It was moving and I am happy that the fictional baby lived because I am a sap just like every one else. The show does not represent my beliefs, and I will not celebrate it anymore than I would a pro-choicer telling me that they think some babies are worth saving. Not all mind you, but some. Whoopee!

We are better than this. Our arguments are stronger than this. We can do better than this nod in our direction, if it could be characterized as such. We can stop abortion. I believe that with all of my heart. When secular shows celebrate the full humanity of the unborn regardless of the mothers feelings about the baby or the circumstances of conception and Americans begin to daily engage this issue like the moral horror that it is we will be appropriately giddy. This is too little and too flawed to be too happy about.


  1. You can't expect rabidly proabortion people to necessarily do a total reversal. Many come along incrementally. And if the writers of "House" have at least acknowledged a wanted child as a baby, that's obvioulsy progress over the previous, "I don't care if you love it, it's a rapist's spawn and it needs to die."

  2. I agree, Jay. I even saw on the one pro-life blogs post about this a mention of the earlier episode and something like, "House is to be commended for confronting such a controversial issue." I remember thinking that the earlier episode sounded horrible, not like something to commend just because it's somehow good for them to "confront the issue." Any pro-abort propaganda will be _about_ the issue, and the earlier show sounded like something to condemn roundly. This one sounds like it's still reaffirming the idea that it's all about wantedness and about the woman's feelings and desires.

    I think you're right about pro-lifers' being desperate. And that's a bad thing, and a bad sign. It means we'll pretty much settle for anything and try to find something good to say about it. Again, what would we say if this were toddlers? "Oh, there was this show in which the doctor bullied a mother into murdering her toddler. But in this show she really _wanted_ the toddler, and he found a way to help it. Hey! How great! Maybe they're getting the idea!"

  3. If the fetus moves Dr. House to have a change of heart on abortion in future episodes, that would be worth celebrating.

  4. Because I had watched the previous episode when House "bullied" the young rape victim into aborting her baby, I refused to watch this episode when I read that it, too, was about abortion.

    I have since seen the scene where the baby's hand is laying on House's and he is very quiet. It is a moving scene. However, I have to agree with you, Jay. We shouldn't grasp at straws as if we are desperate.

    Let's end abortion. We can do it!


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