Thanks to a rash of bills, like the one passed in New York, infanticide has become a hot topic. Most people are horrified at the idea of abortion survivors being left to die, but it’s something that happens — yet that hasn’t stopped some of the media’s favorite abortionists from claiming it never occurs. Dr. Jen Gunter, an OB/GYN who also commits abortion, claimed on her blog that infanticide is not part of abortion “care.” When we examine her reasoning, however, it collapses. It just doesn’t hold water.
False claim #1: Cardiac activity in a child doesn’t really mean anything; it’s all subjective.
Gunter argues that a live birth is necessary for infanticide, and this is something completely dependent based on the parents’ wishes. “Movement or cardiac activity does not equate life, by the medical and the legal definitions,” she began. But here, Gunter has set up a straw man only to knock it down. Movement or cardiac activity may not “equate” life (“equate” being the key word here), but movement and cardiac activity are certainly indicators that a human being is alive and not yet dead.
Gunter added that when her son Aidan was born prematurely, she opted to record him as “born alive,” but later regretted it, as he lived after birth for three minutes and she says she was charged an exorbitant hospital bill. “The take away — a live birth does not mean a life is possible. There is a huge difference. And, the recording of a live birth can be fluid based on parental wishes,” she concluded.
But Gunter’s son had a life. He had a life for several months in his mother’s womb, and then he lived for a short three minutes outside her womb. Again — Gunter’s use of the term “a life” is highly, highly subjective and based not in science, but in her philosophical idea of what “a life” must be.
Let’s examine Gunter’s words carefully: “The recording of a live birth can be fluid based on parental wishes.” Gunter just essentially admitted that if a child is born alive and lives for moments outside the womb — even if it’s not in an abortion situation — that human being’s life outside the womb might not be counted. This seems to do little to support the idea that no children are being born alive after abortions; instead, it seems to indicate that when it does happen, no one has to acknowledge it.
Is it ethically acceptable for a baby who survives an abortion at nearly seven or eight months pregnant — a baby who is viable — to be left for dead with no medical care administered? Should it be legal? Even worse is when abortionists ensure that a baby does not survive. While in one rare case, that of Kermit Gosnell, the abortionist has been prosecuted for murder, others have gotten away with it.
While with extremely premature birth, it may not be possible to save the child, and palliative care may instead be offered, that has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that there are viable children who have survived abortions. The only thing Gunter has to say about any of this, however, is that being born alive does not mean that a baby’s life is viable.
False claim #2: Live birth from an abortion “is not possible.”
Gunter, of course, points out that late-term abortions are relatively rare — but what bearing does this have on whether or not children have survived these rare abortions? “Only 1.3% of abortions are performed at or after 21 weeks and most of these happen by 24 weeks. So right off the bat, 98.7% of abortions can’t possibly end in infanticide because they are performed before any chance of viability. There can never be a live birth no matter how much bad technique or malpractice is involved in the care,” she claimed.
“Most states limit abortion to under 24 weeks. So it is clear there are very few places where the mythical ‘live birth’ abortions could actually happen. Some states allow for abortions after 24 weeks when there are lethal fetal anomalies. Let’s be super clear here — lethal fetal anomalies can’t have a life,” she claimed.
It’s completely untrue that in states which allow late-term abortions that it’s only when fatal abnormalities are present. These states follow the language in Doe v. Bolton, which states, “… We agree with the District Court, 319 F. Supp., at 1058, that the medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the wellbeing of the patient. All these factors may relate to health….”
Even pro-abortion sources disprove Gunter’s talking points on this subject, such as a 1988 Guttmacher study, in which only 2% of women sought late-term abortions because of a health problem with the baby. A 2013 study published by the Guttmacher Institute also said, “data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.” Pro-abortion researcher Diana Greene Foster likewise stated, according to a report from the Congressional Research Service, that abortions for fetal abnormalities “make up a small minority of later abortion.” Finally, a 2010 paper from Julia Steinberg with the pro-abortion Bixby Center for Global Health said, “Research suggests that the overwhelming majority of women having later abortions do so for reasons other than fetal anomaly (Drey et al., 2006; Finer et al., 2005, 2006; Foster et al., 2008).”
While it is certainly true that the majority of abortions in the United States are committed in the first trimester, according to the CDC, an average of 127 late-term abortions are committed every day, and that’s not including every state, as some states — like California — do not report their abortion data.
Gunter then sneered at the idea that surviving abortion is even possible, writing, “A surgical abortion does not in any situation result in a live birth. It’s not possible. The end.” It’s funny she claims survival after an abortion is literally not possible; it would be interesting to see what her take on people like Claire Culwell, Gianna Jessen, Melissa Ohden, and the countless other abortion survivors would be. Would she be willing to look, say, Melissa Ohden in the face and deny her very existence? These survivors have medical records of this fact; they are real and they exist. There has even been an organization formed by them to advocate for others like them: The Abortion Survivors Network. It is legal in the United States for babies to be aborted through all nine months of pregnancy, and the later the abortion takes place, the more likely it is that an infant could possibly survive.
Gunter claims that the arguments against infanticide are nothing but lies and propaganda, but the only person denying the truth in this debate is Gunter herself.
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