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Born Alive Infant Protection Act

  1. Apr 22, 2005 #1


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    In 2002, President Bush signed into law that requires abortion doctors to attempt to save babies born alive during an abortion. Reading my local news today, this act will be enforced much greater since our government is choosing to take on more morality issues. The beauty of this law (IMO) is that it does not interfere with a woman's right to choose, yet attempts to satisfy those who are pro-life. It also gives the fetus born alive status of being a person.

    But the biggest problem I see is, most fetuses that are aborted are less then 16 weeks-impossible for them to live on their own for any length of time because the womb provides it with everything it needs to grow healthy. So if these fetuses survive being out of the womb for the 5-6 months they need, what development issues will they have? Who will pay for their expensive hospital care? If the mother is willing to abort the child, yet it lives, does she sign a waiver of parental responsibility? Who will take care of these children with potential health and developmental disabilities?

    While I see this act has good intentions, are we creating another issue at hand?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2005 #2
    IMHO, the intention of this bill is to dodge the issue of abortion rather than decisivly adress it. The chances of a 16-week old fetus surviving outside the womb, even with the grace of modern medical technologies, are very small.

    As far as I know that was the case even before this bill.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2005
  4. Apr 23, 2005 #3


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    not sure if dodging the issue is what the intent of the bill is, but rather an alternative approach to the whole pro-life stand. the reason for the legality of abortion has more to do with practical reasons above moral reasons, thus the focus of the morality is shifted off the woman seeking an abortion and placed upon something that is most likely to fail-the fetus not surviving life outside the womb.

    so if this law becomes more enforced, and many fetuses die (because we know it is inevitable), will the pro-lifers then move to the next step of accusing the women of attempted murder because the fetus did not survive outside the womb and she has a direct contribution to its death?
  5. Apr 23, 2005 #4


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    That the fetus is so unlikely to survive should cast new light on when a fetus is considered a fully-formed life form (that can survive separately on it's own, i.e., not upon conception) rather than just potential life (but still dependent on another, existing life form to become life). In any event, potential life should not be given priority over undebatable existing life.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2005
  6. Apr 23, 2005 #5
    After 23 weeks a fetus reaches viability. Most states prohibit abortion after this period. Here is a list of state regulations on abortion.
    Unfortunately, many of the premature babies that survive will face serious lifelong problems.
    It is very doubtful that a baby that survives the abortion procedure will live for any length of time, and if they do they face severe medical difficulties and have no parents to care for them. Requiring doctors to attempt to save the lives of abortion survivors seems unfair to the babies. Few, if any, will have the chance to lead a productive life. Most of them will suffer longer before they die naturally. The conscience of the doctor that performed the operation is spared at the expense of the suffering of the infant.

    (edit) What emotional consequences would the mother feel knowing that she went in for an abortion and the baby is still alive? Wouldn't it be better to carry the baby full term and give it up for adoption? At least then the baby would be healthy.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2005
  7. Apr 23, 2005 #6


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    Well here in California, the government will take responsibility for babies left at a hospital when they are at the most, 3 days old (obviously not a inforced time limit). This is for a woman who had a kid and decided that it isnt the best use of their money :-/. So i suppose its not a big problem since the government does this in a way anyhow. But this is California... we make the federal governments deficit look like nothing :D
  8. Apr 24, 2005 #7


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    adoption isn't always an easy option for a mother who wishes to conceal she had ever been pregnant. also, she may not have health insurance to pay for pre-natal care, but not qualify for state help. sure logically it would be better for the baby for her to carry it full term, but that's not the reality of what women will do. when she is choosing abortion, she is putting her needs before the baby's-so why would she be so concerned about the baby once she leaves the clinic?

    i am not so sure this law is in the best interest of these babies who
    might be kept alive, and if so, they will endure some huge medical struggles. but i suppose of those who are in support of this law care so much for life, then they can bear the financial responsibilities for their care.

    any thoughts to the responsibility of the mother who chose to abort, yet her baby lives?
  9. Apr 24, 2005 #8
    I think a woman that goes in for an abortion has the expectation that the fetus will not survive. This is not an easy decision to make. She has decided that it is in her best interest physically and/or emotionally to not carry the baby full term. If the baby survives, and is given rights to protect its life, this defeats the purpose of the woman's decision. Now she must bear the guilt that she wished to avoid. She is a mother that does not know her child. To make matters worse, the child she did not want to be in the world, if it survives, will most likely have lifelong medical problems that are a direct result of her decision. The law leaves her vulnerable to her guilt.

    I imagine having an abortion would be a difficult decision for any woman. I had the good fortune to read some poetry from one woman who had an abortion. The theme dominated her work. It underlied everything. She was wracked by guilt, but still managed to carry on with her life with a certain amount of hope and cheerfulness. How low would her self-esteem be if the baby lived and had cerebral palsy? This is just one case, but it seems pretty typical to me.

    I think this law may be motivated to reduce the number of abortions. When women make their decision to have an abortion or give the baby up for adoption they will consider what would happen if the baby survives the abortion. More women may choose to carry the baby.
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