CNN recently claimed that “Texas’ abortion restrictions … may be fueling a sudden spike in infant mortality as women are forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term.” The article states, “Some 2,200 infants died in Texas in 2022 – an increase of 227 deaths, or 11.5%, over the previous year, according to preliminary infant mortality data from the Texas Department of State Health Services.” It adds, “Infant deaths caused by severe genetic and birth defects rose by 21.6%.”
CNN admits that “The increase in deaths could partly be explained by the fact that more babies are being born in Texas,” and cites a report which found that there were nearly 10,000 more births in Texas in 2022 than were anticipated prior to the introduction of that state’s current legal protections for preborn children.
However, the article quickly pivots to blaming Texas’ pro-life laws for the increase in deaths.
The article quotes Dr. Erika Werner, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Tufts Medical Center, who said, “We all knew the infant mortality rate would go up, because many of these terminations were for pregnancies that don’t turn into healthy normal kids. It’s exactly what we all were concerned about.”
But “pregnancies” do not “turn into” children at birth through some kind of magical metamorphic process. The preborn are human beings from the moment of fertilization, and are very much alive in the womb.
The article goes on to insinuate that Texas’ former 20-week gestational limit was superior, because it “gave parents more time to learn crucial information about a fetus’s brain formation and organ development, which doctors begin to test for at around 15 weeks.” It quotes one of the plaintiffs in a recent lawsuit against the state of Texas, who said: “If I was able to get the abortion with that time [i.e., at 20 weeks’ gestation], I think it would have meant a lot to me because my daughter wouldn’t have suffered.”
However, dismemberment abortion, or D&E, is the standard abortion method after 13 weeks’ gestation, and recent science suggests the preborn can potentially feel pain as early as 8 weeks’ gestation. So the idea that aborting (dismembering) a 20-week-old preborn child would have somehow spared that child from pain is absurd.
Furthermore, research has shown that women who have abortions in cases of fetal anomalies are at higher risk for post-traumatic stress disorder and emotional trauma than women who carry these pregnancies to term.
The implication behind CNN’s arguments is that in order to decrease infant mortality, it would be better to kill children diagnosed with fetal anomalies before they are born – that death by homicide is somehow superior to natural death, or that the ending of a life in the womb somehow doesn’t count as a legitimate death. Both ideas defy reason.
Preborn persons are alive – and abortion kills them. And committing violence against a defenseless person is never a morally or experientially superior choice, even if that person’s life will soon end anyway. The homicide of the innocent can never be justified.