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February 1, 2018 / compassioninpolitics

When are babies viable out of the womb? When should abortion be legal and illegal?

I’m glad I’ve never had to make this decision. Those who have to make this decision are certainly making what is an incredibly hard decision.
I think we can agree if we can prevent this decision or even from happening—without any impact on the mother—that we’d be better off as a society (specifically fewer negative repurcussions from unwanted pregnancies and abortions, specifically).
Many pro-life supporters accept the limit of rape.
Many pro-life supporters would say these are less than ideal.
One of the usual lines of someone attempting to justify the procedure:

* Its a choice, but that ignores the opportunity of the cost and the inability of the person or organism to speak or defend themselves. This is why the 14th Amendment, which is the equal protection clause has been used to defend the rights of the unborn.

* The second line of thinking often uses it “the women has no other choice.” However, there are alternatives. If they are in a toxic relationship, they can move or get help from the YWCA. They can also work with an adoption agency. They don’t have to raise the kid. So there are in fact other options.

* Or its “just like other health care procedures.” Which isn’t correct. There are unique aspects of the procedure that are distinct to the nature of abortion and how it impacts anothers existence and life without that other having the chance to do anything about it at all.

They would also probably say that life is life.

There is a certain truth to that statement, I tend to use heart beat of the baby or the survivability out of the womb as two middle ground criteria which we don’t usually seem to apply. States seem to have arbitrary justifications for the length of time which have almost nothing to do with the survivability or medical status of the baby.

Its also unfortunate that much of what goes on gets masked in euphemistic rhetoric, such that the brutality of the procedure gets overlooked.

Specifically week 6 a heartbeat is detectable via ultrasound. Many states allow abortions in the 12 week I believe.
And research from the National Institutes of Health points out that a baby can be viable at 20 weeks:

*A **new study* (* published in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 7 examined how hospitals differ in whether and how they treat extremely premature babies, starting at 22 weeks. Proponents of the bill say this study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, shows that the babies who would be saved through the 20-week abortion ban could now be considered viable. Some media reports also echoed the same conclusions.*
22 weeks presents an even further justification for limits, even as the limit is often at 24 week:
*Researchers found that 22 percent of the babies born at 22 weeks received active treatment, and hospitals varied in their whether and how they gave treatment to babies born between 22 and 27 weeks. There were 78 babies born at 22 weeks who received aggressive treatment. Among them, 18 of them survived (23 percent) to toddler age. Seven (9 percent) of them did not have severe or moderate impairment by the time they were toddlers.*
*That babies can survive at 22 weeks is not a new finding; it has been known for 15 years, Rysavy said.*
Its worth noting that the same criteria we use in climate change discussions, that of the precautionary principle seems to apply here, except to an even greater extent. It would seem that if ANY baby is viable, that that should be the criteria to be on the safe side. So that if 10 to 20% survive, that we should act in the interest of preserving those possible lives.

Source: First Trimester – American Pregnancy Association (
State regulations on abortion:
1. Abortion laws by state (
2. An Overview of Abortion Laws (

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