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How the pro-life movement endangers the unborn child – Reason.com

By on March 29, 2021 0
ianturton / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

The Republican-controlled House voted 242-184 last week to impose a federal ban on late abortions. Since President Obama has already condemned this bill as “shameful” and has pledged to veto it, the main goal of the House GOP appears to be to pre-request a future Republican president.

But there is a more troubling question at play here for Republicans: Given that Tories routinely argue that the government cannot regulate anything without making it worse, how could the government regulate one of the most tragic choices facing it? mothers face without aggravating the tragedy?

The point is, he can’t.

The GOP bill would ban all abortions after 20 weeks, when a fetus has reached viability and may begin to feel pain, two hotly contested claims. The bill would make exceptions for rape or when a woman’s life is in danger. It would also exempt minors under the age of 18 who are victims of incest, but would require doctors – on pain of arrest and fines – to report the crime. In such cases, however, the bill significantly requires that a second doctor be present to try to “save” the fetus.

This is not the pro-life lobby’s first attempt to make a ball Roe vs. Wade, the 42-year-old abortion decision that prohibited states and the federal government from banning abortions before the viability point. The pro-life camp’s first major victory came in 2003 when President George W. Bush banned “partial birth abortions”. (This ban backfired because mothers are forced to resort to even worse methods for themselves and their fetus, such as dismembering it in the womb before “extracting” it). And since then, Republicans have continued, with the House deciding two years ago to ban abortions after 22 weeks. This bill has not been enacted, but now they want to reduce the allotted time by two more month weeks. There is no doubt that the pro-life lobby is emboldened by public opinion which advanced 13 points in its direction between 1995 and 2014, according to at Gallup.

It’s not hard to see what is pushing public opinion in the pro-life direction. There is something deeply uncomfortable about “abortion on demand” – a society in which women can use the procedure as birth control. But that’s not really what Conservative legislation is trying to fight. Almost all of the 1.3 million abortions in the United States each year – 98.5 percent – take place in the first trimester, when women with unwanted pregnancies are most likely to use. the procedure as birth control. Still finished 60 percent of Americans, even those who claim to be pro-life, have no problem keeping this legal.

Their main problem is with abortions that occur later in pregnancy when, ironically, women are the least likely to use abortion as a form of birth control. Indeed, despite the famous 1997 abjuration by Ron Fitzsimmons, abortion rights advocate, it takes a rather bleak view of mothers as moral freaks to believe that women in late pregnancy casually walk around a doctor’s office and ask. an abortion for birth control reasons. This is completely separate from the emotional reality of ordinary women. The point is, after five months of pregnancy, mothers form very, very deep attachments with their unborn babies, crying horribly even when they lose them to natural causes.

So why does a woman choose a second abortion? Besides his own health, the main reason is birth defects which can only be accurately diagnosed by full fetal tests after 20 weeks. Some of these defects are not life threatening to babies. But many, like spina bifida (exposed spine) and anencephaly (malformed brain), are. Given that 2 percent of pregnancies in the United States are complicated by major birth defects and only about 1% of women opt for second trimester abortions, it is clear that some mothers keep the baby even after learning of the anomalies because they are ready for anything and want to give their babies a chance at life, however short it may be.

Do those who do not act immorally? Isn’t it understandable that they can’t stand the thought of giving birth to a baby that would have a short life and a painful death? The two points of view are understandable. Both are heartbreaking.

If the reckless house ban were to become law, the most likely outcome would be to push women to have abortions early on the basis of much less reliable tests, Remarks Darshak Sanghavi, pediatric cardiologist. In other words, the ban could save some babies with Down’s syndrome, but almost certainly at the cost of sacrificing healthier fetuses.

This is not a way to advance the “sanctity of life”. Indeed, the GOP’s utopian quest to “save every unborn child” by demonizing mothers and using the government to guess them will have the opposite effect. It is pride to think that the government can improve the moral choices of mothers who have the most vested interest in protecting their future children. The human condition doesn’t always allow for perfectly moral results all the time – and failure to face it could make human fate more – not less – tragic.

A version of this chronicle originally appeared in The week.

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