Thursday, 27 March 2008

Official: Having a Vagina is Now Immoral.

Via The Curvature, a report that in Canada women are being denied cervical smears due to ‘conscience clauses’ that allow doctors to refuse medical treatment (usually abortions) on moral grounds. Now, call me naive, but as I understand anatomy, the vagina is just another body part that can get cancer. Cervical smears are a test to ensure that cervical cancer is caught in a timely fashion and that any pre-cancerous cells are treated before they progress to full-blow cancer (saving lives and money in the long-term). How, by any stretch of the imagination, can it be immoral to require such a test?

Now, it is true that women who have sex have a higher chance of getting cervical cancer, but remaining a virgin does not entirely remove the possibility. But, even if this was true, how is having sex immoral? Certain religions restrict ‘moral sex’ to marriage, but married women still require cervical smears. Marriage is not a protection against cervical cancer. Furthermore, how moral is it to punish women who have sex outside marriage to death by cancer?

The only reason that cervical smear could be refused on the grounds of ‘conscience’ is if having a vagina is itself immoral. Women, there is no point in living a holy or a moral life, because you are damned by your vagina. Remember your vagina is your destiny and your destiny has decided that you’re less than human. Basic medical care does not apply to vaginas, because they are immoral. Heaven forbid that a doctor defile himself by treating one.

Now if women are the opposite of men and vaginas the opposite of penises... what does this say about the penis?


queen emily said...

Truly awful. Even given the nutty logic of anti-abortion types, I don't really see how a conscience clause applies to a cervical smear. But then, I didn't realise it was a moral decision to decide to *not* help women.

These conscience clauses are bloody nasty. I think they establish a legal legitimacy for doctors to do some truly terrible things in the name of a subjective "moral" judgement (rather than patients' need), and particularly for women without a lot of choices (say, remote areas), that can as you point out be fatal. And clearly that's going to especially hit women of colour, who get pretty rubbish treatment at the best of times, whose bodies are culturally sexualised, and more like to be seen *as* immoral.

Feminist Avatar said...

It makes you wonder where the line between 'morality' and 'ethics' is.

Donna Harvey said...

This was lovely too read