Opinion

Children with diagnoses like cystic fibrosis could be saved if Roe falls

cystic fibrosis

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, the lives of children with health conditions such as cystic fibrosis will be saved — and that’s good for everyone, even though abortion advocates don’t think so.

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is the case that may be the undoing of Roe v. Wade. At the center of the case is the Mississippi Gestational Age Act which restricts abortion in the state to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. A similar law is set to go into effect on July 1 in Florida, and another was signed into law in Arizona. Though laws like these wrongly allow the majority of abortions to continue because most take place in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, if Roe remains, these laws won’t even be in effect, saving fewer lives. Overturning Roe would allow states to put these laws into effect, saving at least some — though sadly not all — preborn lives.

 

The definition of lethal

Though each of the laws wrongly allows for abortions if the baby is expected to die at birth, they don’t allow for abortions on children with conditions such as cystic fibrosis. Abortion advocates are upset by this because preborn children with medical conditions are the ultimate excuse to justify abortions late in pregnancy. They use these children to play on the sympathies of well-meaning adults who don’t want to see children suffer.

“There are many things considered lethal by obstetricians and geneticists that are diagnosed after 15 weeks but do not meet the bill’s definition of lethal which is ‘shortly after birth,’” Dr. Kristen Witkowski, an obstetrician/gynecologist in Tampa, told Naples Daily News in an email concerning Florida’s 15-week abortion restriction.

READ: Study: Nearly 95% of preborn children diagnosed with cystic fibrosis through prenatal screening are aborted

“Some anomalies are lethal immediately; some might take days, weeks, months, or even years depending on the issue,” she said. “So I am not sure who will be deciding what lethal is: those of us who actually went to medical school or our lawmakers.”

Cystic fibrosis, though once considered a childhood disease because it often caused death during early childhood, is now a much more treatable condition. There is no cure, but people with the condition are living longer, healthier lives, with those born today with cystic fibrosis given a 50% chance of living into their 40s or longer thanks to new medications.

But for abortion advocates like Witkowski, the possibility that someone might die before the age of 50 is grounds for killing them in the womb. For abortion supporters, a condition that might be terminal in 50 years is “lethal” and therefore, justifies an abortion even if the child was “planned” and “wanted” by her parents. The truth of the matter is, abortion advocates wouldn’t accept a 15-week abortion restriction even if it did allow for the abortions of children with cystic fibrosis and other conditions.

Eugenic abortion hurts everyone

Eugenic abortion kills innocent human beings because they have not lived up to a certain standard of health deemed acceptable by parents or doctors. How often have we heard “as long as it’s healthy” when a pregnant woman is asked if she wants a boy or a girl? Health seems, understandably, to be at the top of a parent’s wish list. But killing a human being is not health care and will not heal — and ultimately, it will cause the continued suffering of others.

When people with health conditions such as cystic fibrosis are born, doctors learn new ways to help them and heal them. Whether through participation in extensive studies or even just routine doctor appointments, treating people with cystic fibrosis and testing new treatments on them allows doctors to not only help them but to help future individuals with cystic fibrosis who are yet to be born. And the benefits extend beyond cystic fibrosis to other genetic health conditions caused by a faulty gene like cystic fibrosis is.

Quite simply, advancements in medicine can’t happen if people with the condition are prevented from being born.

READ: Researchers: Treating cystic fibrosis in the womb may prevent complications

While some might argue that they don’t want their child to be an experiment for doctors, a life free from disease is not guaranteed even if a child is deemed “healthy” in utero. Any child at any time could be diagnosed with a health condition such as diabetes or cancer. The answer would never be to kill them, but to find ways to help them, which could involve experimental medications. The same courtesy and compassion should be afforded to people who receive their diagnosis in the womb.

If we wouldn’t kill a born child who receives a diagnosis, we should not kill a preborn child who receives the same diagnosis.

The great advancements made in cystic fibrosis over the last 30 years are remarkable. New medications work within the cell to make the faulty gene work properly. That discovery could ultimately help people with other genetic conditions. But without the patients being born in the first place, these advancements wouldn’t have been possible.

People born with health conditions like cystic fibrosis aren’t destined for a life of suffering. They are happy, dynamic, unique individuals who deserve the opportunity to live their lives. But when abortion is used to kill these people, they suffer a violent unnecessary death, their parents suffer emotional trauma, and ultimately, the world suffers.

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