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.