It's been a good month for moral relativism. We've had the YWCA's anointing of Patricia Ireland, the Connecticut Supreme Court's ruling that the fetus is another body part, the Rick Santorum controversy, and the Bill Bennett revelation.
I suppose it's the business of the Young Women's Christian Association if it wants to appoint former National Organization for Women (NOW) President Patricia Ireland as its leader. But Ireland has admitted she's not a Christian and that she plans to make the YWCA into a strong political force. Shouldn't the organization at least change its name so as not to send the false impression that it will be promoting Christian values? Or are we ogres for expecting such distinctions and insisting on truth in labeling?
Next, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that a fetus is part of the mother's body within the meaning of Connecticut's assault and sexual assault statutes. Pro-life groups are understandably upset because they are apparently concluding the ruling is tantamount to saying the unborn is not a separate being.
But in fairness, after reading the opinion, I don't think the court was making a statement either way on that point. It was merely addressing the issue of whether the defendant was guilty of assaulting the mother when he inserted two pills into her vagina with the intent of killing the unborn.
The statutes are clear that the defendant could only be found guilty of assaulting the mother if he intended to destroy or permanently disable a "member" or "organ" of her body. Had the court ruled the fetus was neither a "member" nor "organ" of her body, the defendant would have walked. To summarize, it affirmed the defendant's conviction, finding that even though a fetus was not permanently attached to the mother's body, it was still a "part" of it.
I don't believe the court's decision that the unborn is a part of the mother's body is necessarily inconsistent with it having an independent existence. Indeed, Chief Justice William J. Sullivan wrote a separate, concurring opinion to make this very point. But it's unfortunate the majority was not as clear as Justice Sullivan was. Perhaps they intended not to be, for fear of diminishing "abortion rights." As it stands, the ruling is a victory for pro-choicers and relativists, who will use it to advance their cause.