A Bill that needed a 2/3 vote in Congress in order to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the city of Washington D.C. was blocked by Democrats in the House of Representatives. The constitution gives Congress the authority to set D.C. law, which the Congress delegated to the D.C. assembly only to have that assembly legalize abortion for any reason during all 9 months of pregnancy. I know the abortion debate is a hot topic, but most people at least agree that late term abortions are wrong.
The Constitution protects the right to life, and it does not define life, therefore many people wish to start recognizing the life of a child only after birth. This does not make much logical sense because there is a wide range of time when a child could be born and therefore chance dictates when a child begins to have their right to life recognized. The youngest baby’s have been born 21 weeks after conception and lived, having their right to life accepted 4 months earlier than many other infants. The only difference was that the baby was now outside his or her mother, where before the baby was inside his or her mother.
This is what women refer to as a right to choose what they do with their own body, when clearly it is not the woman’s body politicians wish to regulate, but instead what that women can do to the body inside her. After all the argument that “it is my body” can easily be dispelled by the fact that fetus’s have separate DNA than their mother from the beginning. It something is a part of your body, it has your DNA–tumors have the same DNA as the host, not babies. If we do not allow infanticide, why allow it to take place only because the baby is hidden by a mass of flesh and tissue?
Legally, if the mother of one of the premature babies had killed her baby the day after birth, that would have been homicide 5 months after conception. But, legally, if a mother in D.C. who was over 9 months pregnant decided instead of having the baby to have an abortion, that would bear no legal consequences 9 months after conception. If it is about an infant’s development than it should be obvious to everyone that after 20 weeks abortion is wrong, because that fetus very well could have been born and survived. Personally I believe the only logical point to begin protecting the life of a child is conception, because otherwise there is just sparring back and forth about what is an appropriate timetable to allow abortions.
Reasons the argument would not remain at 5 months–the earliest a fetus has been born and survived– is that heartbeats, brain activity, and now we are seeing even nerves and the ability to feel pain develop much earlier than 20 weeks in a fetus. The Doctors who established this research had backgrounds in understanding the nervous system and pain receptors, one being an anesthesiologist. They found the following:
Functioning neurological structures necessary for pain sensation are in place as early as 8 weeks, but certainly by 13 1/2 weeks of gestation. Sensory nerves, including nociceptors, reach the skin of the fetus before the 9th week of gestation. The first detectable brain activity occurs in the thalamus between the 8th and 10th weeks. The movement of electrical impulses through the neural fibers and spinal column takes place between 8 and 9 weeks gestation. By 13 1/2 weeks, the entire sensory nervous system functions as a whole in all parts of the body.
Their research as well as others’ has concluded that not only do fetus’s feel pain, they feel pain worse than the rest of us because the pain blockers in the brain are not yet developed. They are even capable of crying under certain circumstances. This is especially sad if you understand the brutal way that many later abortions are carried out. The baby does care, it does hurt, and it instinctively wants to live, just like the rest of us.
If you have a moral objection to late term abortion you are not alone. A recent poll found that 63% of all respondents were in favor of banning abortion after a fetus can feel pain. 70% of women agreed that abortion should be illegal after the fetus’s ability to feel pain is developed. (Read the original article here).