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Abortion in America
New Study Could Lead to Changes in Abortion Law

A new study suggests that babies could be viable sooner than ever before. The New England Journal of Medicine published a study on about 5,000 premature babies, and found that around one-fourth of those who were born at 22 weeks and given intensive care survived. The current standard of medical viability is 24 weeks, so the consequences of demonstrating earlier viability could be huge for the abortion debate, as WaPo notes:

Edward Bell, a pediatrics professor at the University of Iowa and a co-author of the study, told the New York Times he considers 22 weeks a new marker of viability — a newborn’s potential to survive outside the womb. […]

The vast majority of the hospitals in the study agree with Bell — all but 4 of the 24 institutions examined offered active care to all or some of the babies born at 22 weeks. If he is right that 22 weeks has become the new age of viability, it could have implications far beyond the delivery room.

That’s because the Supreme Court has long crafted its abortion rulings around the idea of viability. In Roe v. Wade the court ruled that states could not restrict abortions before the 28th week of pregnancy, at the time thought to be the earliest a newborn could survive on its own.

The 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, acknowledging that advances in neonatal care made survival of even more premature babies possible, detached the “viability” marker from the 28-week standard but left the sentiment of the original ruling intact: “We reaffirm … the right of the woman to choose to have an abortion before viability and to obtain it without undue interference from the State,” read the majority opinion.

As technology advances, the abortion debate is going to shift. The first technology relevant to the debate was the ultrasound, which, among other things, helped bring Bernard Nathanson, a founding member of NARAL, to the pro-life cause. Now, improved intensive-care capabilities are pushing viability earlier, with profound implications for the law (and likely cultural perceptions as well). Nobody can predict can far new tech will push back viability, but if the standard does become 22 weeks, states will be able to restrict legal abortion to a narrower window of time. And the further the window shrinks, the more abortion proponents will be put on the back foot.

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  • FriendlyGoat

    Would we be wrong from the facts stated above to assume that three quarters of the 22-week babies did not survive? Would we be wrong to even ask about the cost of the intensive care and who pays for it?

    Our first goal should be to convince more of our men to not cause unwanted pregnancies in women, period. Our second goal should be to make any abortions which are going to otherwise take place (either legally or illegally) available at the earliest possible times at the least cost. That is most likely a question of what drugs are made available, to whom and when.

    • honestAbesurd

      HA,HA You were doing good , logical and then all of a sudden you went all political bashing republicans. Like a immature child.You are freaking bi polar pal. Seek help you nut phuc.

      • FriendlyGoat

        The politics of anti-abortion in this country is all about the politics of electing tax cutters—–period. You know it but are too much of a liar to admit it.

        • honestAbesurd

          What tax cutting is being done. What are you 12 years old? What is wrong with cutting taxes. Do you even work?

          • Dale Fayda

            No, FG is retired. But he stays awake at night because somebody, somewhere is getting to keep one dollar more of their hard-earned money from the government than he thinks they should.

            You must be fairly new to this site. If you want to get FG’s goat (pun intended), ask him about his feelings “high end tax cuts”.

    • Josephbleau

      We would be correct in assuming that 25% of the babies born at 22 weeks and were given intensive care survived, we have no data on what percentage of babies born at 22 weeks were given intensive care. If not all 22 week preemies were given intensive care the survival rate will be higher for that class. Should we worry more about the cost of treating preemies than we worry about the cost of treating drug users and alcoholics? If there were no unwanted pregnancies there would be no abortions, planned parenthood should strive for this goal.

      Do you truly believe that fetuses who will become disabled have no contribution to make? Are Disabled folks useless? are there not factors where physically disabled folks are not geniuses in other areas? Are we right in exterminating their unique talents?

      • FriendlyGoat

        I believe parents have a right to choose whether they will or will not raise a child with a known fetal abnormality. I believe churches and politicians should just butt out of it. It is really none of their business.

    • fastrackn1

      “Our first goal should be to convince more of our men to not cause unwanted pregnancies in women, period.”

      Awww FG, come on…seriously? Don’t even go there….

      • FriendlyGoat

        Why on earth not? It is the single best answer to abortion opponents.

        • rheddles

          I hate to agree with FG but the Goat is right on this. Now that bastardy has lost its shame for mother and child, a new means must be found to restrain young males. The birth process now includes the assignment of a social security number for each new born. I suggest that it should also include a DNA sample to be put in a national data base maintained with Social Security records. If no father is stated on the birth certificate, the mother’s DNA should also be added to the database and the matching father sought. When found, the alleged father should have the right to contest the finding. After being declared the father, the earnings of the male should be attached to pay for the support of the child. This should be done by the federal government so that which ever state the father goes to, the earnings can be easily attached and pursued by the IRS. And sterilize the mother after the birth.

        • fastrackn1

          Women are the ones causing unwanted pregnancies. They are the ones in ultimate control of pregnancy. If they wouldn’t have started opening their legs to the degree they have in the last 50+ years to any man that comes along, we wouldn’t be in the social mess we are in…and that includes the insane amount of unwanted pregnancies.
          Now that American women are indistinguishable from men because they aren’t comfortable in their own skin, they should also be man enough to stop blaming others for the issues that ‘they’ created.

          All this thanks to the great social change brought on by the extreme left in the sixties….

          • FriendlyGoat

            We have four female goats who would beg to differ about their behavior being to blame for our billy goat’s perpetual misbehavior with them. (Watching goats is my substitute for having a therapist. They are very informative on social matters.)

          • fastrackn1

            Well…maybe ‘billy’ is just trying to be a friendly goat!

          • FriendlyGoat

            Yes, he is “doing his best”, as they say. Thankfully he is neutered (a wether)—–which did not diminish his libido in the least.
            But, at least our pygmy ladies are not perpetually pregnant.

            I named myself here for him, because he is, in fact, friendly to my wife and me. We are constantly trying to counsel him with petting, small lectures, even singing songs to him. He L-O-V-E-S being sung to, believe it or not, and will become quite the gentleman for a few minutes (until he remembers he is a goat.)

          • fastrackn1

            I am not a ‘pet’ person, however I have actually considered having a goat. They seem quite interesting as pets from what I have seen on TV. I will probably end up with a horse or two though because I have always wanted at least a horse…although 2 would be better for them to have some companionship.

          • FriendlyGoat

            They say you always want to have more than one goat because they are not very happy alone. I would also suggest small ones (preferably de-horned), because many goats can jump (like onto car hoods), they can climb (like into trees) and they may spend a lot of time pushing on fences to scratch themselves (which can bow wire fences outward).

            Ours are pretty small.

          • fastrackn1

            Yeah, 2 or 3 sounds about right…they are small.
            I don’t think most outdoor animals should be solitary, for their mental health.

    • Boritz

      “Would we be wrong to even ask about the cost of the intensive care and who pays for it?”

      Now you’re talking like a Republican!

      • FriendlyGoat

        Really? Do any of them ever bring this up?

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