The investigation into “Doctor” Kermit Gosnell’s atrocities against the unborn, the in-the-process-of-being-born and the born has sparked a new round of debate on when babies become people. The unlikelihood that any consensus will ever be reached has led to some pretty extreme conclusions. Which is what happens when we give up on trying to reach a consensus.
Should we have period police checking up on women of childbearing age? Should women be jailed for not “behaving responsibly” during pregnancy? Should we permit partial-birth abortions? What the hell…why don’t we just go ahead and let the parents kill them ‘til their teenagers? Since parents are most likely to want to kill their kids when they’re teenagers, the latter might not be the best idea.
I believe that the medical community can reach a consensus on when a fetus becomes viable outside the womb. At that point, for legal purposes, it can be defined as a person. Is that when God says it’s a person? The answer to that question is that we simply don’t know. Who is to make the guess that legally binds us all: the Roman Catholic, The Orthodox Jew, the Unitarian Universalist or the “Spiritual But Not Religious” Person who finds God in bunnies and pretty sunsets?
As there are vastly more of the latter than those of all the other creeds combined, the answer the majority gives us might be pretty scary.
The medical community won’t come to a total agreement, either. But if taxpayers are no longer forced to fund abortions, the procedure will stop being the cash cow it has become. That will make it a lot easier for those who are supposed to be healers and lifesavers to remember what their mission should be.
As medical science continues to advance, babies can be kept alive outside the womb at increasingly earlier ages. This in and of itself would roll back the number of abortions, were a medical determination of the age of viability to be the standard. To me, this looks like the best solution. Not a perfect one, by any means – but better than any other. The zealots on either side of the argument won’t like it, but screw the zealots.
My solution wouldn’t punish women for having sex. Nor would it permit abortion to be used as birth control. It would protect human life, according to an increasingly-expanding definition of when it begins. The wine-and-brie liberal set, who claim to be so concerned about poor women and rape and incest victims, can put their money where their mouths are. They can choose to spend the dollars the government would no longer be taking from them on what matters so much to them, funding clinics where these women can still have abortions.
What’s not to like about this idea? If you really want to save babies, nothing. Those who are being slaughtered while we’re deadlocked in our partisan dithering are certainly dead. But if you want us all to keep on dithering, because you see the very conflict as a chance to grab power and pick pockets, I suppose there’s plenty about it to hate. Then again, if such people had nothing to hate, they’d have nothing to live for.