Friday, February 23, 2007

Newsweek Misses the Point

I just read a Newsweek story on MSNBC's website about the Miami woman who delivered her baby at 21 weeks. Previously, the "line" for viability was thought to be somewhere between 23-24 weeks. The baby by all accounts is doing well and should be home soon. The article can be viewed at the moment at the following link:

Here is the paragraph in the story that caught my attention:

Opponents of abortion rights saw Amillia's survival as proof that second-trimester terminations should no longer be permitted. Meanwhile, doctors said they'd have to review the case as they update their guidelines on premature births. And experts like Phibbs worried that Amillia would raise expectations too high. "What would be worrisome is if this led some doctors to be overly enthusiastic about babies who have no chance of survival," he said. "This is an extremely rare event, any way you look at it."

In my opinion, this misses the pro-life position's central tenant. Our argument is not regarding viability but rather the very essence of what human life is. We contend that our "humanness" begins much earlier than delivery. I will certainly concede that this story helps make the pro-life case more compelling by attaching a face to a "fetus." Perhaps it makes abortion seem even more monstrous. But even if a child could not survive until 39 weeks it would hardly change the fact that we are taking a life that is clearly human--albeit a vulnerable human.

Incidentally, I visited a woman in the hospital today whose water broke on Wednesday. She is currently at 22 weeks and 6 days. Doctors plan on having her deliver the baby tomorrow. Her name is Ann...pray for her if you get the chance.

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