For many years, the question of when life begins was a point of contention in the abortion debate. Today, the debate is no longer about whether life begins at conception, but about how long you have to end life.
The New York legislature recently passed a bill that legalizes the killing of a baby right up until birth. They claim that committing an act of infanticide could be justified in order to save the life of the mother. But if the magnitude of the celebration that followed the signing of the bill by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is any indication, the new law was really about taking abortion to the level of legal infanticide.
Before the ink was dry on the New York law, the Virginia General Assembly was on the verge of passing its own version until Virginia Governor Ralph Northam stunned the nation by asserting that in the event a baby survived a late-term abortion, it could be left to die if that is what the mother wanted. In other words, Democrats have gone from “if you like your doctor, you can keep it,” to “if you like your baby, you can keep it, but if you don’t like your baby, you can let it die.”
The public outrage that followed Governor Northam’s statements resulted in the bill being defeated, but by only one vote.
It is hard to imagine that after carrying a baby for nine months, a mother would opt at the last minute to terminate the child’s life. Proponents of this horrific policy claim that this would only occur if the life of the mother were at risk. Dr. Maurine Batson, an OBGYN in Alabama, disagrees.
Dr. Batson said, “As an OBGYN, I can attest that there is not a single situation of maternal or fetal health in which it would be necessary to kill a healthy child at birth. I have encountered circumstances where early delivery or an emergency C-section might be required to protect the health of the mother, but there are absolutely no medical emergencies where killing a full-term baby at birth is needed in order to save the mother’s life.”
But, as extreme as late-term abortion is, it is not new. In 1972, Michael Tooley, currently a philosophy professor at the University of Colorado, proclaimed that a human being does not possess a right to life until it has a degree of self-awareness. Princeton University philosophy professor Peter Singer argued that babies should not be declared persons until 30 days after their birth.
Similarly, in a paper entitled, “After-Birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?” Australian philosophy professors Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva wrote, “We claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk … We propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion,’ rather than ‘infanticide,’ to emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child.”
More recently, there was the case of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the Pennsylvania abortionist who was sentenced to prison for the murder of newborn babies. Gosnell induced his patients, forcing the live birth of viable babies, and then killed them by cutting the spinal cord at the back of the neck. Based on the views of the aforementioned philosophy professors, it could be argued that what Gosnell did in murdering newborn babies was acceptable.
Given these disturbing realities, for weeks now, Republican members of Congress have attempted to end such infanticidal practices by requesting that H.R. 962, the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, be allowed to come to the House floor for a vote. Every effort has been vigorously opposed by the Democrats. It is hard to believe that the Democrat Party is now so committed to killing unborn children that they lack the morality and courage to protect their lives after they are born alive.
Americans are right to be appalled at the idea that a newborn child could be killed. As stated previously, we are now at a point where some states are saying, “If you don’t like your baby, you can let it die.”
Gary Palmer is a congressman from Hoover representing Alabama’s Sixth District