The placenta, of course, is an organ that is entirely invisible until birth, after which it is necessarily expelled in a bloody mess and discarded, valueless.
If a synod of women is like a placenta, what’s the rest of the analogy? Presumably, the synod is an organ in the body of Mother Church. But what’s the baby that this placenta is supposed to be nourishing?
Notice, too, that the ideas merely pass through the women. This is consistent with much of the pro-life, anti-abortion rhetoric that operates from an overly simplified model of human reproduction not far beyond the medieval notion that the man plants the seed and the woman is merely fertile soil.
According to this cartoon model, at the moment that sperm meets ovum, a new person is created, ontologically complete, merely requiring the nutrition it receives through the placenta to mature into a human infant. The pregnant woman is abstracted away: all the focus is on the placenta and uterus, in which the newly created person is entitled to reside.
This is an utterly naive and physiologically incorrect view of human reproduction. In reality, a pregnant woman eats, drinks, and sleeps, metabolizes and gestates, hopes and fears. Her whole body is actively involved, undergoing increasingly significant change throughout pregnancy, actively contributing to the development of what may, if all goes well, become a viable human infant.
It’s always annoying when women are rhetorically objectified as body parts. But this one was particularly bad, because of its coherence with the erasure of women from discourse about pregnancy and childbirth.
Using an analogy that erases women to propose a possible synod of women: the irony is overwhelming.