Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, has written a column for Huffington Post, irrationally claiming that abortion is essential health care and that it actually saves the lives of babies.
Yes, you read that right. O’Neill is truly putting forward the argument that abortion is “care” because it prevents infants from dying shortly after birth. She is claiming that killing babies through abortion saves them from dying later. Is your head spinning yet?
From a public health point of view, abortion care…is an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality…
Because, yes, if we abort a baby before she has a chance to be born, she will not be born premature, she will not have a low birth weight, and she will not be a “small size infant.” But this is because she has been killed, not because we’ve actually avoided any of these potential problems through abortion, as O’Neill would have her readers believe.
O’Neill also writes:
According to Save the Children, the U.S. has the highest first-day infant mortality rate of any country in the industrialized world. This is 50 percent more first-day deaths than all the other industrialized countries combined.
Yet O’Neill conveniently forgets to reveal important clarifying information. For instance, a number of the industrialized countries who are supposedly ahead of the U.S. don’t report live births in the same accurate way the U.S. does. “Behind the Baby Count,” printed by U.S. News and World Report, explains:
[I]t’s shaky ground to compare U.S. infant mortality with reports from other countries. The United States counts all births as live if they show any sign of life, regardless of prematurity or size. This includes what many other countries report as stillbirths. In Austria and Germany, fetal weight must be at least 500 grams (1 pound) to count as a live birth; in other parts of Europe, such as Switzerland, the fetus must be at least 30 centimeters (12 inches) long. In Belgium and France, births at less than 26 weeks of pregnancy are registered as lifeless. And some countries don’t reliably register babies who die within the first 24 hours of birth. Thus, the United States is sure to report higher infant mortality rates. For this very reason, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which collects the European numbers, warns of head-to-head comparisons by country.
In addition, U.S. doctors’ advanced abilities to save babies that might otherwise be classified as stillborn affect our nation’s infant mortality rate:
Until recently, very-low-birth-weight babies, those weighing less than 3 pounds, almost always died. Now some of these babies survive with the help of breathing assistance and other recent inventions.
While such vulnerable babies may live with advanced medical assistance and technology, low-birth-weight babies (weighing less than 5.5 pounds) recently had an infant mortality rate 20 times higher than heavier babies, according to the WHO. And these deaths count as infant deaths even though most would have been counted as stillbirths if they hadn’t received the gift of life, however transitory.
Ironically, American doctors’ ability to save babies’ lives causes higher infant mortality numbers here than would be the case with less advanced medical treatment.
So, rather than a lack of “abortion care,” the U.S.’s higher infant mortality rate is due in large part to our honesty and accurate reporting as well as our life-saving medical advances.
O’Neill also claims that babies who are born after unintended pregnancies are more likely to die. She writes that babies born to teen mothers are more likely to die – and that the U.S. has the highest adolescent birth rate of any industrialized nation. Could her claims here be correct? Yes. It is true that teen mothers and mothers who were not planning their pregnancies can be less likely to seek out and receive adequate prenatal care. (Though the vast majority of these babies still survive and thrive.)
But how can the answer to inadequate prenatal care be abortion? How, in a civilized nation, can we say to women: “So far, you haven’t received adequate medical care for yourself or your baby. Maybe you don’t know how to find it. But instead of helping you get this care, we’ll just kill your baby instead.” How can that possibly, in any sane measure of thinking, be the right answer?
Instead of prenatal vitamins, Terry O’Neill would give mothers a pill that would cause them to have a bloody – and often painful – home abortion.
Instead of regular checkups, Terry O’Neill would recommend a one-time visit to the clinic – one that would pull the baby out piece by piece.
Instead of necessary information, supportive medical care, and the help a woman might need to plan her pregnancies in the future, Terry O’Neill would march that woman into an abortion clinic, suck the baby out of her, spine first, and then shut the door behind her with no help for her future.
Nowhere in her article does Terry O’Neill say that teen mothers should be educated, that poor women should be provided with prenatal care, or that any other positive action should be taken. The only thing she advocates for is death. Find a poor, uneducated pregnant woman? O’Neill’s one and only solution is to kill her baby.
And that should tell us a whole lot about the real goals of the abortion industry.
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