by Reita S.
Part of the rhetoric in the abortion debate revolves around the question of the born and pre-born child. In Canadian law, for example, the born child is awarded retroactive legal rights through all nine months of pregnancy. (This means that in the instance of pre-birth assault, a born child and its mother can BOTH sue the offender.) However, a child who dies before birth or is aborted does not have these legal rights. (So if the child did not survive the pre-birth assault, the mother can still sue, but the child, as it was never live-born, cannot.)
While I lament that the Unborn Victims of Crime bill in Canada did not pass, which would have allowed legal process on behalf of a wanted pre-born child killed in an assault, I am at least pleased to see that Canada legally acknowleges that at the moment of birth the child has legal rights and is deserving of protection.
Imagine my anger, then, at the controversy in the United States over “live birth abortion”, also known as “induced labour abortion”. In this process, performed in late-term pregnancies, the doctor gives the woman medication which causes her to go into premature labour and expell the baby, rather than using a D&C or saline procedure.
The horrible part of this is that the child is often not “born dead”. In fact, children born through this procedure can live for hours – and they receive no medical treatment. They are treated as ‘medical waste’ and are wrapped in a blanket and left to die alone. They are issued both birth and death certificates, but never receive any of the medical help a premie baby would receive.
Consider the testimony of nurse Jill Stanek:
“It is not uncommon for one of these live aborted babies to linger for an hour or two or even longer. One of them once lived for almost eight hours. [...] In the event that a baby is aborted alive, he or she receives no medical assessments or care but is only given what my hospital calls “comfort care.” “Comfort care” is defined as keeping the baby warm in a blanket until he or she dies, although even this minimal compassion is not always provided. It is not required that these babies be held during their short lives.”
“One night, a nursing co-worker was taking an aborted Down’s Syndrome baby who was born alive to our Soiled Utility Room because his parents did not want to hold him, and she did not have time to hold him. I could not bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone in a Soiled Utility Room, so I cradled and rocked him for the 45 minutes that he lived. He was 21 to 22 weeks old, weighed about ½ pound, and was about 10 inches long. He was too weak to move very much, expending any energy he had trying to breathe. Toward the end he was so quiet that I couldn’t tell if he was still alive unless I held him up to the light to see if his heart was still beating through his chest wall. After he was pronounced dead, we folded his little arms across his chest, wrapped him in a tiny shroud, and carried him to the hospital morgue where all of our dead patients are taken.”
How is this not infanticide? Since when is being ‘wanted’ the only thing that matters?
Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.