The Federalist 26 February 2019
Family First Comment: “Defending New York’s late-term abortion law as necessary to protect maternal and fetal health is disingenuous, if not downright dishonest. There is no situation in which late abortion is the only, or even the best, solution to a maternal or fetal health crisis.”
For babies with abnormalities, perinatal hospice is an option. For mothers whose lives are threatened by complications, emergency C-section is an option.
New York’s law legalizing abortion after a child’s gestational age of 24 weeks was caught in the crosshairs of President Trump’s state of the union address a few weeks ago. “Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth,” said the president.
Dozens of news outlets rushed to quibble with his words. An NBC “fact check” labeled the statement false. The law allows abortions “after 24 weeks if the fetus is not viable or when it’s necessary to protect the life of the mother,” the fact-checker reported.
Defenders of this law and those like it say it is moderate and compassionate, concerned only with making sure women with life-threatening pregnancy complications are not left to die. But if one looks at the medical and legal context for the law and understands what exactly the terms mean, it becomes clear that the reality is much less straightforward—and much darker.
Viability and Abnormalities
First, let’s look at the idea of “fetal viability.” In Roe v. Wade and many state abortion laws, “viability” means the fetus has reached a sufficiently advanced gestational age to be able to survive outside the womb—22 weeks, with current medical technology.
But the New York law uses the term “viability” in an unusual way to signify a life-limiting birth defect. Some fatal birth defects, such as Potter’s syndrome or thanatophoric dysplasia, are often detected at the 20-week ultrasound, with abortion recommended as the only option.
But ultrasound images are not perfect. Some babies diagnosed by ultrasound as having lethal defects have turned out to be completely normal. Even when severe birth defects are present, babies can undergo surgical repair after birth.
READ MORE: http://thefederalist.com/2019/02/26/fact-late-term-abortions-never-medically-necessary/