A letter on June 19 said abortion should not be restricted even late in pregnancy, because the author personally believes life begins at birth.
She is on shaky moral ground. Even the rabidly pro-abortion American Civil Liberties Union says, "There is absolutely no morally significant change in the fetus between the moments immediately preceding and following birth." In a legal brief in favor of "harvesting" the organs of a handicapped newborn girl, the ACLU pointed out, quite rightly, that it is absurd to allow abortion right up until birth, but not allow the parents to treat the child like an object after birth.
One of Ohio's late-term abortionists, Martin Haskell, wound up with the police breathing down his neck when a student observer reported that one of his late-abortion babies emerged alive from the birth canal and was left to die. If the author of the June 19 letter wants to allow such abortions, what does she want us to do with babies who survive? Do we treat them as precious persons because they've emerged from the womb? Or do we give the woman what she paid for--a dead baby?
It is absurd that at one moment, Haskell leaving a baby to die is a crime, but Haskell stabbing that same baby at the base of the skull just seconds earlier is a constitutionally protected right. The baby is the same baby.
We need to make up our minds about what the unborn are. Are they people, or garbage?
Pro-abortion forces have kept the nation in an uproar for over two decades, largely based on the claim that nobody knows when life begins.
If we use the absence of brain waves to determine that a person's life has ended, why shouldn't we use the presence of brain waves to determine that someone's life has begun?
This is a reasonable and logical way to settle this issue, but the pro-abortion people are unwilling to accept it. The fact is, when a woman is pregnant and we can measure brain waves coming from her that aren't hers, it seems reasonable to speculate that those brain waves are not coming from another life.
Another issue abortion enthusiasts will bring up in an effort to discredit the brain-wave suggestion, is that there is not a clear consensus about when "genuine" brain waves occur. They claim that some scientists say they don't exist until as late as the fifth or sixth month. However, this is just a smoke screen. The existence of "genuine" brain waves is not required to determine that someone who is comatose from an injury, or old age, is alive--only simple brain waves. The reality is, brain waves either exist or they don't, and that is determined by their ability to be measured.
We may need an independent medical study of when fetal brain waves begin. But most Americans would probably be willing to use the same standards to determine when life begins as we now use to say when it ends. It's not really very complicated. If the medical community has already given us a yardstick to determine when life exists, why won't abortion advocates agree to use it?
Maybe it's because they're afraid that if they rely on science and the will of the people, they'll lose.
Yesterday you ran a wonderful article about the unborn being treated for diseases, given blood transfusions, and even operated on.
When a doctor does one of these procedures, who is the patient?
The really interesting thing about all this new medical technology is that it points out how truly irrational twentieth-century man can be while thinking he's being so brilliant. Think about it. Back when we knew almost nothing about the unborn, and had never seen a fetus, we protected them as human beings.
Now, at the very moment in history when we can prove their humanity by seeing them on an ultrasound screen and medically treat them apart from the mother, we also decide we would no longer treat them as human beings! We have created a bizarre and totally unnatural alliance between our ability to perceive the reality of life and our willingness to destroy it.
Maybe we should try to find out if there is some sort of macabre link between human scientific capability and the human capacity for evil. If there is, then perhaps we need to start considering more than just the financial costs of a hi-tech society. We may find that there is a moral price that's higher than we want to pay. In any event, one thing that's not debatable is that the more than thirty million babies slaughtered so far have already found the price to be too high.
Last week's coverage of the abortion debate focused on women. To read your paper, all this country has been divided over for the past two decades is what to do with women's bodies.
Since, in this battle, we talk about courts and the law, I want to point out something that, at least to me, seems very strange. From the very earliest stages of the unborn baby's life, it has all the criteria necessary to be positively identified in a court of law. He or she has a completely unique and identifiable genetic code, a completely unique and identifiable set of fingerprints, a blood type and hair samples that any forensic expert could easily identify as coming from that child. But in spite of that, we will allow that same baby to be legally butchered as if it didn't exist. We treat him or her like part of the mother's body that is diseased and needs to be removed.
My question is this: Since we are able to obtain an identifiable genetic code, fingerprints, a blood type, and hair samples from an unborn child, and since they are all different from the mother's, who do you think they are identifying?
Is it possible that there is someone else we're forgetting?
In her recent letter, a pro-choicer said that each woman must be left to decide for herself when her offspring is a person.
My question is: If she really believes that every woman has that right, why does she take that right away at birth?
After all, some people believe the first 30 days after birth should be spent testing the child to see if it is human enough to be granted personhood. Some believe that personhood is measured by the ability to communicate through speech, and to use tools. If this pro-choicer met such a woman, would she let her kill her toddler because the kid's speech isn't clear and he can't operate a can opener?
The reality is, once we decide that life begins at any point other than the one based on science--conception--then one arbitrary point is as valid as any other. And I'd sure steer clear of anybody who says, "Life begins at 40!"