There have been cases where babies survive failed abortions and are born alive. Some of the children who are born alive after failed abortions do suffer defects as a result of the failed attempt to have them aborted. Gianna Jessen and Claire Culwell, both of whom are survivors of failed abortions, have suffered from birth defects arising from attempted failed abortions and continue to suffer from these birth defects. Claire Culwell recently wrote a letter to the abortionist who attempted to abort her which explains how she is affected by the failed attempt to have her aborted, and this letter can be found here.
The arguments and the final ruling in the Roe v. Wade case fail to take into account the harm that results when babies who survive failed abortions are born alive. Even though Sarah Weddington argued that an unborn human being did not have any constitutionally guaranteed rights prior to birth and the United States Supreme Court decided in the Roe v. Wade case that only those who have been born are considered to be persons for the purposes of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution, children who are born alive after a failed abortion are still considered to be persons under the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution and have a constitutionally guaranteed right to life because they are still human beings like those born alive by other means. The manner in which a child is born or the manner in which pregnancy is terminated cannot alter the fact that a human being is a human person. As such, a child who is born as a result of a failed abortion should have the same rights and protections that are granted to newborn babies who are born by means other than failed abortions. Depriving survivors of failed abortions of the rights and protections extended to other persons constitutes unequal treatment, is not consistent with the principles of the United States Constitution, and goes against the intent of the United States Constitution, even if the failed abortions were perfectly legal or the survivors of failed abortions were not legally considered to be persons prior to birth.
Even though abortion rights advocates continue to oppose regulations on abortion clinics that are considered to be reasonable by the majority of Americans, the fact that an abortion performed after viability might fail to kill the unborn child being aborted and might result in a live birth warrants either prohibiting abortions after viability or at the very least regulating abortions after viability to a greater extent than abortions performed prior to viability. The government has a compelling interest in protecting an unborn child who might be born alive as a result of a failed abortion performed after viability, but this compelling governmental interest was not recognized by the United States Supreme Court during the Roe v. Wade case. The United States Supreme Court needs to consider the harm that is caused to children who are born alive after failed abortions in any future cases involving laws which regulate or prohibit abortions after viability.
Even though late-term abortion procedures are usually legal in the United States, the infanticide of newborn babies is currently illegal in the United States. There are a few Americans who defend the infanticide of newborn babies by considering such acts as an “after-birth abortion” or “fourth trimester abortion”, but the infanticide of a newborn baby involves the killing of an newborn baby by an act or omission after birth whereas an abortion involves the killing of an unborn baby prior to or during the termination of pregnancy. The United States Supreme Court did rule in the Roe v. Wade case that unborn children were not considered to be persons under the 14th Amendment and that the right to life of unborn children are not protected under the 14th Amendment, but newborn babies are currently considered to be persons under the 14th Amendment and do have a constitutionally guaranteed right to life. The killing of an unborn child in the third trimester of pregnancy prior to birth is usually legal, but the killing of a newborn baby after birth is clearly illegal.
There are women who are willing to kill their newborn baby after birth because they do not want to take care of their newborn baby. These killings do arise from a mentality that is similar to that of women who choose to abort their unwanted unborn child prior to birth out of convenience. Even though it might be understandable that the mother of a child who was born after an unwanted pregnancy might be in a desperate situation, the killing of a newborn baby after birth can never be morally justified, nor should it ever be legally justifiable. Unlike legal abortions, the killing of a newborn baby after birth is considered to be murder in the eyes of the law. Megan Huntsman was recently charged with killing 6 of her unwanted babies after birth, Amanda Hein was recently sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing her newborn son after birth, and Kermit Gosnell and other employees of his former abortion clinic were convicted of the murders of newborn babies last year.
The infanticide of newborn babies should remain illegal without exception in the United States, and the United States Supreme Court should continue to uphold that newborn babies are persons who have a constitutionally guaranteed right to life. While there are some pro-abortion Americans who support the legalized infanticide of newborn babies, the majority of Americans are strongly opposed to the legalization of infanticide of newborn babies. Even though the right to life has already been stripped away from unborn babies as a result of the Roe v. Wade case, newborn babies do have a constitutionally guaranteed right to life that should never be taken away. The right of states to prohibit the infanticide of newborn babies and the right of unborn babies to life should be legally protected in every circumstance and should never be taken away by the courts.
If a pregnant woman discovers through prenatal diagnosis that her unborn child has a birth defect, she should usually carry the pregnancy to term, even if she is advised to abort her defective child by a doctor. There are good reasons why a pregnancy involving a defective baby should be carried to term whenever possible, even if the resulting baby will die from a fatal birth defect. First, a defective human embryo or a defective human fetus is still a human being, even if he or she has a fatal defect. Second, an abortion of a defective human embryo or a defective human fetus still constitutes the killing of an innocent human being. Third, an abortion of a defective baby can put the mother at risk of serious health complications from the abortion procedure. Fourth, a defect in the developing unborn child usually does not endanger the life or health of the mother. Fifth, prenatal diagnosis is not 100% reliable at detecting birth defects and there have been cases where non-defective babies are wrongly diagnosed with birth defects. Last, choosing to carry the pregnancy to term shows respect for the life of the unborn child and sends the message that the defective child is loved by his or her mother.
There are some people who claim that carrying a baby with a defect to term is selfish and immoral, but this cannot be the case because the mother of a defective unborn baby usually does not have a moral obligation to terminate a pregnancy involving a defective baby prior to term and the choice of aborting a defective baby is intrinsically evil and morally wrong. A mother who is pregnant with a defective unborn baby can have a moral obligation to carry the pregnancy to term, even if the defect of the unborn baby is fatal, but a mother does not have a moral obligation to resort to other extraordinary measures to prevent the death of a defective baby. Live Action News recently published an article on a couple who chose life for their defective baby, and here is a link to that article.
Parents who are faced with a prenatal diagnosis of a serious defect in their unborn child should be encouraged to carry the pregnancy to term, even if the baby will die.
Abortion should be outlawed because an abortion causes the death of an unborn child, who is an innocent human being and was so from the moment of conception. Even though unborn human children should have a constitutionally guaranteed right to life under the United States Constitution, they are currently deprived of a constitutionally guaranteed right because the United States Supreme Court decided that unborn children are not human persons under the United States Constitution in the Roe v. Wade case. Our founding fathers did intend for the right to life to extend to unborn children, and the authors of the 14th Amendment did not intend to deprive unborn children of the right to life.
In addition to killing unborn children, abortion should also be outlawed for the following reasons:
- To encourage women who are in crisis pregnancies to carry their pregnancies to term where possible
- To protect the right to life of unborn children prior to birth
- To discourage women from using abortion as a backup form of birth control
- To prevent abortion from being used as a means of getting rid of an unborn child who is unwanted by his or her mother
- To prevent the cover-up of rape, incest, and child abuse
- To deter abortions performed for the purposes of sexual selection
- To protect pregnant women from the harm that results from abortion procedures that are currently legal
- To protect unborn children from birth defects that might result if born alive after a failed abortion
- To deter abortionists from committing acts of infanticide against newborn babies
Live Action recently published an article on their blog listing 3 reasons why abortion should be banned, which can be found at here. TFP lists 10 reasons why abortion should be illegal here.