When is the life of a child worth national resources to protect?
Rebecca Smith writes for the Telegraph:
The abortion debate is reignited today as figures show that survival rates of babies born very prematurely have doubled in the past 20 years.She continues.
Britain has a 24-week limit on abortions. 24 weeks was chosen because at the time it was chosen 50% of premature babies delivered at 24 weeks survived. Now that the survival rate for 24-week babies in British hospitals has risen to 81% and 22-week babies have a 50% or better survival rate, the wheels have been put in motion to lower the age limit for abortions in Britain.
Of eight babies born alive at 22 weeks at University College London Hospital between 1996 and 2000, four survived to go home. Between 1991 and 1995 only two were born at 22 weeks and neither lived.
For babies born at 23 weeks the survival rate increased from 44 per cent in 1991-95 to 46 per cent in the late 1990s. At 24 weeks, half the babies born between 1991 and 1995 lived. This rose to 81 per cent for those born in 1995-2000.
Compare the conversation in Britain to the United States, which has no time limit on abortions. Would it not be a hopeful development, one that encouraged women to bear children prematurely in preference to killing them?
I have seen my children develop in ultrasound videos at 18 weeks and later, almost all the way to delivery. At 18 weeks we could count their fingers and toes, see their faces, watch them sleep, watch them move around, tell their sex, watch and hear their hearts beat, and see their bones and internal organs.
And yet, some people say children at this state of development are not children, but fetuses or even blastocysts, and fair game for abortionists.
Deuce writes in the Elephant Bar, after a very powerful photo of a 22-week baby who was killed in an abortion:
The Chinese are more correct at recognizing when human life begins. Be born in China, and you are one year old.Let's look at a 31-week baby in ultrasound. This baby is obviously a child. All the fingers and other joints are articulated. The face is recognizable. The movements are those of a child.
This 22-week ultrasound of the brother of the previous child is also clearly a child. The fingers and joints are articulated, the profile recognizable, the bones and heart are seen as plain as day.
This 16-week 3d ultrasound shows how fragile and needy the child is at this stage, yet she is clearly a child. Watch her.
And this 12-week ultrasound shows how the 12-week fetus is already clearly a child.
We are having the wrong conversation about abortion. Rather than arguing over whether a fetus is really a child we should be asking when the life of a child is worth encouraging, worth the government devoting resources to protecting its life, even at the risk of giving birth to a child who turns out to be physically disabled in some way, as some 1 in 4 of extremely premature babies are.
When is the life of a child worth national, state, and local resources to protect?
Technorati Tags: Abortion, Medical Ethics