Pro-choice / Anti-science

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In 1983, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote that abortion was on “a collision course” with technology.  Back then, O’Connor could hardly have known the extent to which advances in neonatal science, sonogram technology, and video recording would debunk the claim of abortion advocates that an unborn fetus is not truly human.

More than 30 years after O’Connor authored those prophetic words, our scientific understanding of life in the womb tells a much different story than the narrative offered by abortion rights advocates.

Today, there is significant scientific evidence that a child in the womb feels pain by at least the end of the second trimester.  And a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine this past spring shows that babies delivered at 22 or 23 weeks gestation have an excellent chance of survival with proper medical care.  What’s more, as documented in the April PBS mini-series Twice Born, each year hospitals perform increasing numbers of fetal surgeries in order to treat birth defects in utero.

Last month, secretly recorded videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, a pro-life group, provided more evidence—if any is needed – that late-term abortions involve small human beings with wholly formed organs. Although abortion defenders have long denied that the specimens obtained from miscarried or aborted pregnancies include actual human organs (they euphemistically refer to specimens as the “products of conception”), the videos clearly show clinicians sorting through bags of lungs, hearts, and limbs and referring to them as human body parts. Even more troubling is the suggestion, particularly in the fifth video, that some of the fetuses may have exited the womb alive, only to be left to die in order to pass on to medical researchers difficult to obtain “intact” cadavers.

The videos thus reaffirm the view of the vast majority of Americans (84 percent) who oppose late-term abortion.  And they have given pause even to those who previously had no objection to the procedures.

Of course, as the NewBostonPost has reported, Planned Parenthood has been in the fetal parts business for decades.  But the videos have provided the public a more concrete visual image than ever before of “body parts” that actually belong to “someone.”

The public is understandably horrified.  An Investor’s Business Daily poll taken after the videos were made public showed 58 percent of adults in favor of cutting off taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood with only 38 percent opposed.

No wonder Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards attempted to discredit the videos by calling them “fraudulent,” before being shamed into apologizing for the “tone” used by staff who cavalierly discussed clever ways of harvesting organs over lunch and a glass of wine.

Cecile Richards

Screenshot courtesy of YouTube

But why bother to apologize at all?

Now that science and technology have revealed the biological humanity of children in utero, Planned Parenthood might consider whether it is more logical to justify their industry on utilitarian grounds.

After all, there would be no need for Richards to apologize, if she could disconnect “personhood” from the biological fact of “humanity” — if she could convince the public that the interests of the woman always outweigh those of the fetus, regardless of whether the fetus is called “human” or can survive outside the womb.  Nor would she need to apologize, if she could convince the public that the harvesting of organs for medical research provides a benefit to society that outweighs the benefit of the “potential life” in the womb.

But Richards no doubt understands that a strictly utilitarian justification of abortion will never carry sway with the public.  After all, we do not take life away from newborns or toddlers simply because their organs might help scientists find a cure for cancer.  This is the stuff of futuristic movies and dystopian teen novels.  And so as not to appear uncompassionate, Planned Parenthood continues to perpetrate the myth that life begins only at first breath.

For years, liberals have denounced conservatives as “anti-science” when it comes to their pet issue, “climate change.” Today it is pro-life activists who ask policy-makers to look to science when setting reasonable limits on abortion; and it is Planned Parenthood supporters who have proved themselves to be the ultimate “flat-earthers.”

See also:

ARTICLEDisclosure of fetal organ sales almost became law

COLUMNPlanned Parenthood traffics not only in body parts, but in fear

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