Emma Watson, and the truth about her open letter on abortion

As contrasts go, Hollywood film star Emma Watson and an unborn child are about as different as they come. One has been given the platform to seemingly speak for all women everywhere. The other is yet to even have a voice of their own.

The contrast was put into sharp relief recently as Watson praised the decision of the Republic of Ireland to back abortion.

Not that she described it like that. Instead, Watson said the recent referendum result was a “historic feminist victory that emboldens the fight for reproductive justice everywhere”.

Medical misadventure

The person she singled out for praise was Savita Halappanavar. A name much less well known than Emma Watson’s, but who was nevertheless a “catalyst” for the abortion vote, according to The Guardian.

Savita’s story is a desperately tragic one.

She died in 2012 after entering hospital pregnant with her 17-week-old baby.

Abortion campaigners claim that she died because of Ireland’s law protecting the unborn. They rallied round the tragedy as a reason to change the law on abortion. Miss Watson has now done the same.

Yet an inquest concluded that Savita died due to medical misadventure, after contracting sepsis. There were multiple deficiencies in her care – including a failure to check vital signs.

Mother’s life

Under Irish Medical Council guidelines, it was clear that the law permitted interventions to save the life of the mother where life-threatening conditions arose in pregnancy.

Irish doctors were obliged to intervene to save the life of a mother – even at the risk of the life of the baby.

The deaths of Savita – and her unborn child – are incredibly sad. But for Emma Watson, they are a reason abortion law should be radically weakened.

Addressing Savita directly, she says: “In your memory, and towards our liberation, we continue the fight for reproductive justice.”

Speak up

In 2016, a report estimated that 100,000 lives had been saved in the Republic of Ireland because of the country’s constitutional protections for the unborn.

But following the abortion vote, those protections were stripped away.

That means for the unborn child – the silent, growing infant in a mother’s womb – the future is uncertain.

Abortion supporters use euphemisms to talk about ending the life of an unborn child. In contrast, we must speak the truth in love.

And together, all those who love life – including unborn life – must “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves” (Proverbs 31:8).