If you keep up with the news with any sort of regularity, then you have likely heard the story about Dr. Steven Brigham and Dr. Nicola Riley, the two doctors who have been arrested on multiple counts of murder for performing late term abortions in Maryland. The 35 aborted fetuses that were found in a freezer (Yeah, I’m pretty sure that is not kosher disposal technique so what the hell?) at their clinic have been examined and, according to some reports, at least 13 of the fetuses had reached viability and one of them was at about 36 weeks. Yeah, do that math for me. I cannot, for the life of me, imagine the sort of cruelness could be in the heart and mind of a mother, who would abort her child in the 9th month, mere weeks before the child would be born naturally (not the mention the fact that a C-section or induced labor could have easily been used) and given up for adoption. I cannot imagine the sort of unethical doctor who would willingly perform that abortion either. It boggles the mind.
All in all it’s not the most complicated of stories, though liberals will endeavor to make it so…for some reason. Oh they cry about women’s rights, but the fact that someone wants to do something and feels it’s the right thing for them doesn’t make it the right thing to do. Psychopathic serial killers want to kill people and feels it’s the right thing for them to do, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t prosecute them for murder.
So if this is such a simple story, why am I blogging about it?
First, because a friend posted the link to one of the stories and asked what her followers opinions on it were.
Second, because it opened the door for me to explain my ability to be both pro-choice and pro-life at the same time.
I have the maternal instinct in spades and having a child and raising it is something that I feel will be one of the most rewarding parts of my life. I love babies, I love children,…I love teenagers slightly less, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to raise my child to be a less obnoxious teen than others. This is probably an empty hope, but it still springs eternal.
However I also understand science and I understand that, before a certain point, a fetus is not viable and is only surviving by, essentially, feeding off the energy of the mother. I also can understand that, during that period of the first 12 to 15 weeks, a person may decide, for various reasons, to not bring that child into the world.
I don’t support it, but I understand it. As always, I stand for individual liberty, even when that liberty allows people to do things that I wish they would rather not.
However, restrictions are a necessary part of life. Individual liberty only goes so far and we can’t allow people to run around, doing any thing they want, all the time, regardless of who they hurt. That way lies anarchy and most people would agree that anarchy is bad.
That is why we have drawn the, rather fuzzy, line of viability of fetus vs. non-viability.
The definition of viability is as follows.
Capable of living; especially: having attained such form and development as to be normally capable of surviving outside the mother’s womb.
Of course viability isn’t a black and white issue.
The later a baby is born, the more likely he is to survive. Almost 30 percent of babies born at 23 weeks of pregnancy survive, while about 50 to 60 percent of babies born at 24 weeks, about 75 percent born at 25 weeks, and more than 90 percent born at 27 to 28 weeks, survive (3,4,5).
Still, a 30% chance is quite significant and leaves a chance for adoption and life for that child, even if the mother in question does not want to (or cannot, for some reason) raise the child herself.
Abortion at that point is, in my opinion, murder. As far as science is concerned, the fetus is a viable human and killing a human in cold blood is murder.
What Brigham and Riley were doing was murder and they should be prosecuted as such. Late-term and partial birth abortion are simply not ethical and it would, quite honestly, take a sociopath of extreme caliber to believe that they were. The absolute only time I can see an even slightly ethical need for either would be if the only possible way to save the mother’s life and even then the decision must be made with utmost care and thought. To my, admittedly limited, knowledge of medicine, I do not know of any situation in which a partial birth or late-term abortion would be less dangerous to the mother.
Now, as for early term abortion. While I support individual liberty of the mother, I also have a personal opinion on the topic. The only reasonable excuse for an abortion, the only one that doesn’t show an inordinate amount of callousness and selfishness on the part of the woman, is when the child is the product of rape or incest, the health of the mother is endangered, or the child will suffer from a disorder that will make their life, ultimately, short and painful or long and torturous. The concept of an abortion because birth control failed, or no birth control was used, is simply heinous to my own morals and the ethical and moral codes of many.
There, I feel better for having explained my views on the subject. Feel free to share your views in the comments.