Here we meet a baby whose location changed temporarily for the purpose of surgery to remove a tumour. Baby LynLee was removed from her mother’s womb at 23 weeks of pregnancy, operated on, and returned to her mother’s body from where she was born at 36 weeks.
This must create a dilemma for those who advocate abortion throughout the entirety of pregnancy claiming a lack of personhood of the foetus.
Was LynLee a person for the time she was outside the womb? If not, why operate on her at all?
Did she cease to be a person when she was put back inside her mother’s body?
Did her mother have the right to decide to end her life after that, but before was born?
Of course, abortion advocates would have to answer ‘yes’ to the latter 2 questions, otherwise their entire argument for the rights of women in opposition to the rights of their children collapse.
Of course most of the population are expressing awe and delight at our ability to perform such a task, to save a baby even before they are born. Television and print media are lapping up the story, showing discreet pictures of the baby undergoing surgery, then later as a snuggled newborn, all the while choosing to ignore the other reality; that while some doctors hone their skills to save the lives of yet to be born babies, others hone their skills on more effective ways to kill them.
This clinical trial in the US, examined the effectiveness of injecting Digoxin, a drug designed to stop the heartbeat directly into the foetus during pregnancy versus into the amniotic fluid. Ensuring foetal death before removing the body from the womb of the mother to terminate her pregnancy is particularly important in the US where they have legislation that is supposed to mean implementing life saving care of a baby born alive.
‘Fetal asystole’ refers to the heartbeat, with asystole meaning no heartbeat. ‘Failure’ in this clinical trial means the heart kept beating. The women in this clinical trial were between 20 and 24 weeks pregnant.
Of course in Australia this is less of an issue, where we have no such protections of babies born alive. Dozens of babies are delivered alive every year in Victoria alone. Column 4 in this table shows just how many. All of these babies had been diagnosed with a congenital abnormality; not all would have been life limiting or untreatable. All of the pregnancies terminated for psychosocial reasons delivered babies still-born, so it would seem our Victorian doctors have very effective means of ensuring foetal death for the healthiest babies.
At what point do we get a genuine wake up call about what is going on? How much discomfort needs to exist in the minds of people before we get a collective ‘aha’ moment, stop fearing the ideological backlash, and start acting in accordance with what we actually know.
Women should never be forced to choose between full participation in their own lives and their unborn children.
If we care enough about unborn people to carry out life saving techniques on them even before they are born, how can we turn such a blind eye to the fact that we are also killing them? Can we truly believe that we are empowering women by abandoning them to make such life and death decisions over their children alone, unsupported, and without genuine alternatives?
Surely we can do better.