If it isn’t a baby really, we should be telling the Ferdinands to get over themselves and stop making mountains out of mole hills. It is not different to having some skin peel off. It is a total nonsense to make such things national news: couple distraught at clump of cells no longer existing. If, however, it is a real human life, not only is their sadness justified, it is entirely right and well placed. And as justifiable and proper as devastation at the loss of a child is, so too ought we to be horrified by the wanton destruction and murder of such same unborn children. But it clearly cannot be both.
Last week, I saw the sad news that Kate and Rio Ferdinand had lost their unborn baby. It doesn’t matter who you are, such things are always an absolute tragedy.
I was surprised by two things in the article. First, and the less, but nonetheless still, surprising thing was that this hit the news at all. That isn’t to diminish it, just to say I don’t tend to expect national newspapers to bother running these sorts of stories. Certainly not the kind of broadsheet I happened to read it in. I was surprised it was deemed especially newsworthy for most people.
But the much more surprising thing was the headline and nature of the content. The headline was very clear: Kate Ferdinand announces loss of her and husband Rio’s unborn baby. The content was even clearer still. It referred to them as having ‘lost their unborn child’ and reported that it was announced because ‘our baby had no heartbeat in our 12 week scan and I had to have surgery.’ I was surprised because their baby was referred to clearly as a baby and an unborn child despite only being 12-weeks old.
This is notable because we are continually told that babies of such an age are merely ‘clumps of cells’. They are usually referred to exclusively as foetuses. They are rarely referred to as babies or children.