Yesterday, the Senate voted on the Pain-Capable Unborn Children Protection Act, which would have protected children from being aborted after 20 weeks of pregnancy — babies like Amari, who should have the right to life. Amari was born at just 24 weeks, weighing less than one pound. He was about the size of a smartphone, smaller than the palm of an adult’s hand (click here for video).
Amari was born after his mother, Rodericka Moore, got pre-eclampsia, forcing her to deliver four months early. “They had to take him, in order to save me,” she explained. (Note that it was not necessary to abort Amari in order to save Moore’s life, and it is never necessary to abort a child to save his mother’s life.)
Doctors warned her to expect the worst, and Amari wasn’t expected to survive for long. He weighed less than a pound. But though doctors warned her that his outlook was poor, she refused to give up hope. “I was like, you’re going to make it because God wouldn’t do that to me,” she recalled. “They never said he was going to be okay. There were like, we have to prepare you for the worst.”
Even once he survived his first dangerous days, there were still concerns about Amari’s future. “I didn’t think a 15 ounce baby had hope. I didn’t think a 15 ounce baby could be normal, could come home on no oxygen and no feeding tubes,” Rodericka said. By the time he was eight months old, he had survived four hernia surgeries and two bouts with pneumonia.
But he was a fighter, and after spending 120 days in the NICU, Amari was able to go home. And now, he’s a thriving, healthy little boy about to turn two on February 25th. “We’re very excited, after everything that we’ve been through,” Andre Jones, Amari’s dad, said. He now weighs almost 20 pounds — a huge improvement from his tiny beginning. Even all this time later, the family still remembers the fear they grappled from his premature birth.
“It’s a huge relief. It never goes away, that he was born so early,” Rodericka said. “I think some days now that he’s older I’m more scared now, because now he can hurt himself because he likes to climb and fall.” But, she said, she “wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Unfortunately, the Senate voted 51-46 against protecting babies like Amari; the bill needed 60 votes in order to continue. The failure of the bill to pass is a huge defeat for life; Americans overwhelmingly support late-term abortion bans, and for good reason: not long after 20 weeks, these preborn children are viable. Babies have survived being born as young as 21 weeks. Recent research has found that babies may feel pain as early as the first trimester, but it’s almost conclusively known that babies can feel pain by 20 weeks.
Despite this, 189 congressman and 46 senators voted against protecting babies like Amari from violent, painful late-term abortions, like the one below, a D&E, which dismembers preborn babies between 13 and 24 weeks gestation:
Amari is living proof of why these babies must be protected. At 24 weeks, babies like him can legally be aborted, even though they can survive outside of the womb. The United States is one of only a small handful of countries in the world with such extremely permissive abortion laws, allowing even very late-term babies to be denied the right to life. There’s a reason why so few countries allow abortion after 20 weeks; while abortion is always the unacceptable taking of a life, late-term abortion is especially violent, cruel, and inhumane.
These are human beings, and they deserve the right to life.