Guttmacher Institute misleads on fetal viability science

A tiny baby came into the world last November. The “experts” didn’t expect her to survive. Weighing only 1.01 pounds, Frieda was a little early, arriving only 21 weeks and 5 days into her mother’s pregnancy. Now weighing a healthy 7.71 pounds, she was released from hospital last Wednesday.

20 Week Human Fetus

20 Week Human Fetus

The previous week, while commenting on the large number of states considering laws that parallel Nebraska’s fetal pain law, which bans abortion beginning at 20 weeks, Elizabeth Nash of the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute told CNN,

“They want to ban abortion in any way they can. If they can do it at 20 weeks, they will do it at 20 weeks.”

She added:

“There are other scientific reports that say fetuses cannot feel pain at 20 weeks.”

Shifting the argument, Nash said:

“It flies in the face of Supreme Court holdings.”

Finally noting:

“What’s different about these bans is that they are much earlier than viability, which tends to be between 24 and 28 weeks.”

Notice how Nash cleverly worded that last sentence? She claimed that 20 weeks is “much earlier” than viability, when in fact it’s less than 2 weeks from the youngest baby to date. And Frieda isn’t an isolated case. James Gill also survived after arriving at 21 weeks and 5 days. So, Nash qualified her claim by adding that viability “tends to be” later, which still leaves the false impression that babies don’t survive earlier than 24 to 28 weeks.

And concerning fetal pain, Nash cited “other scientific reports” to defend the Guttmacher Institute’s pro-abortion position. What she conveniently failed to mention is that hundreds of studies confirm the existence of fetal pain by 20 weeks, studies which are based on the biological facts of fetal development, whereas the “other” reports are based on an unproven theory that a fetus can’t experience pain without consciousness.

Note: Guttmacher Institute was founded as a division of Planned Parenthood and is named after former Planned Parenthood President Alan Guttmacher. He was also the VP of the American Eugenics Society.

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