The pesky thing about absolute truth is it’s absolutely true all the time.
That reality — the fact that ideological consistency matters — is no clearer than when we look to the Port Isabel Detention Center in Los Fresnos, Texas, where a 24-year-old Honduran woman detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) gave birth to a premature, stillborn baby in late February.
The woman, whose identity has been withheld to protect her privacy, was about six months pregnant, according to NBC News.
Neither ICE nor Customs and Border Protection (CBP) consider stillbirths to be in-custody deaths.
Immediately after the Honduran national delivered a stillborn son, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus called for an investigation into the incident, arguing ICE and CBP “should not be detaining expectant mothers in poor conditions.”
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), chairman of the caucus, continued: “The practice of detaining these women is inhumane and inconsistent with our values as Americans. We must examine the circumstances of the unfortunate and disturbing loss of this mother’s child.”
Texas Bishop Mark Seitz agreed with Castro, telling EWTN this week that, despite the pro-life message heralded by President Donald Trump, those values aren’t always trickling down to every facet of bureaucracy.
Bishop Seitz argued ICE and CBP should classify the premature infant’s passing as an in-custody death.
A 24-year-old Honduran woman recently gave birth to a stillborn baby boy in a Texas detention center–and the administration isn’t considering the child an "in-custody death." @BishopSeitz of @elpasodiocese joins us to respond. pic.twitter.com/rkQOTyag1H
— EWTN Pro-Life Weekly (@EWTNProLife) March 14, 2019
The bishop is being ideologically consistent: If human life has intrinsic value in one case — like in the fight against abortion — then it matters in all cases, including stillbirths that occur in immigration detention centers.
Castro and his fellow Democrats, though, don’t seem to hold to that same level of consistency.
One has to ask why it’s “inhumane” for ICE to detain an expectant mother if her unborn child is not, in fact, a human life but rather just a clump of cells with no autonomous rights, as many pro-abortion politicians claim.
Though he identifies as Catholic, Castro is pro-abortion. Since 2016, the congressman has enjoyed a 100 percent favorable rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Castro and his fellow caucus members aren’t wrong to want more information about the Hispanic mother’s loss. But their argument loses a bit of its bite when it seems so much more about politics than principles.
Just imagine this very realistic hypothetical: A 22-year-old American woman finds herself pregnant just as her career is taking off, at a time when a newborn child would interrupt what is shaping up to be an incredible season of professional opportunity. So rather than allowing a baby to intrude on her success, the woman chooses abortion, because while she wants children in the future, she doesn’t want one just yet.
In that situation, most Democrats would support the woman’s right to an abortion, arguing the unborn child is simply a collection of cells with no innate rights. Instead, pregnancy is just a condition to be either embraced or rejected.
That reasoning is somehow no longer valid, though, for the young Honduran woman held in the Port Isabel Detention Center. Now it’s “inhumane” for ICE to detain her because she’s expecting a child, or, a clump of cells that — in the hypothetical (but very common) situation — didn’t have any autonomy.
Both of those can’t be true, because the pesky thing about absolute truth is it’s absolutely true all the time.
If the unborn baby has innate value in the case of the Honduran woman — and I believe he does — then the same is true for the 22-year-old woman who just isn’t ready for a child.