The issue of late-term abortion is among the most agonizing and controversial areas within the larger, contentious debate on the morality and legality of abortion. To begin with, by the 20th week or fifth month of pregnancy, the fetus is clearly recognizable as a neonate and she is routinely described on professional medical websites in terms that stress her individuality and humanity; in addition, the methods used to terminate fetal life after five months are particularly grim and are often cited by abortion practitioners themselves in ways that indicate their ethical or aesthetic revulsion.
Of interest to the medical, moral, sociological, and political issues surrounding late-term abortion is the question of why women seek abortion after twenty weeks gestation. Any data considered to answer this question must be examined carefully for limitations. However, a greater understanding of the reasons why women choose these late-term procedures is valuable to those who seek to offer alternative, compassionate options.
Five-month abortion laws restrict abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy—when an unborn child can feel pain from abortion. Opponents of five-month abortion laws argue they violate the “viability rule” created by the U.S. Supreme Court. The viability rule provides that government “may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability.” In most cases viability will occur after 20 weeks of pregnancy. However, the viability rule is unworkable, arbitrary, unjust, poorly reasoned, inadequate, and extreme. The viability rule cannot be justified, especially as applied to five-month laws. In a challenge to a five-month law it is reasonable to conclude that the Court might abandon the viability rule altogether or not apply it to five-month laws.
Last Tuesday, two individuals from Rhode Island and Vermont filed separate lawsuits in federal court to challenge the abortion surcharge mandate. Both men are pro-life and reside in states whose marketplaces currently offer only plans that include elective abortion. Because of this, every individual enrolled in a plan through these states’ marketplaces is required by law to pay a separate abortion surcharge each month.
January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. In the United States, about 120,000 babies each year have a congenital anomaly, otherwise known as a birth defect, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That is, about one in every 33 babies is diagnosed either prenatally or after birth with a health problem or physical abnormality that varies in degree of severity. Severe birth defects account for the death of one out of every five infants, making it the leading cause of infant mortality.
For parents who receive the heartrending news that their unborn child has a severe or life-threatening fetal anomaly, fetal surgery – surgery performed on a child in the womb – is one option that offers hope.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), the education and research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List, is pleased to announce today that Dr. David Prentice will join the organization as its Vice President and Research Director. Dr. Prentice brings over three decades of experience in life sciences including stem cells, cloning, cell biology, genetics, biotechnology, bioethics, and life-related research and policymaking.