Dissecting Pro-Life Opinion Pieces: “The viability smoke screen”

Samuel Faust submitted his monthly, anti-abortion propaganda piece just in time for Valentine’s Day! So I bring you a dissection of his latest Letter to the Editor titled “The viability smoke screen”:

The pro-abortion crowd proved once and for all that any talk of viability is nothing more than a smoke screen meant to distract.

Look no further than the recently passed New York abortion law allowing children to be killed up to the moment of birth. It doesn’t matter if the baby is healthy, happy, and capable of surviving outside the womb. If mom wants the child dead, the child must die.

Holy misinformation, Batman! Faust had leaped from cherry picking and dove straight into outright lies.

Regarding abortion rights, New York stands out as it had legalized abortion three years before the landmark Roe v. Wade case. It allowed elective abortion until 24 weeks into a pregnancy. It included an exception for a life or death situation, but not for protecting the health of the mother or when the fetus wasn’t expected to live regardless of it being past the viability point and medical intervention (i.e. an absence of fetal life). While Roe v Wade makes exceptions of preserving health and absence of fetal life situations when a woman is past the point in her pregnancy when she is allowed to terminate, the New York law did not and made abortion a crime after 24 weeks unless the pregnancy was an immediate threat to the mother’s life. Doctors could have been prosecuted under state law for performing abortion in rare cases when the pregnancy threatened the mother’s health (but her life wasn’t in immediate jeopardy) or when there was an absence of fetal life. Therefore, women who fell into these exceptions had to travel out of state to terminate their pregnancies.

The Reproductive Health Act brings New York state law up to code with the federal law set by Roe v Wade. As with the previous law, elective abortion is available up to the 24th week (“the point of viability” in NY) and anything after that point must fall under an exception that must be assessed by a doctor before approval for a pregnancy termination can be made. The difference between the old law and the RHA is that the RHA decriminalizes abortion while adding the two aforementioned post-viability exceptions the previous law didn’t cover. What the law does NOT do is allow women to decide for any reason to terminate a pregnancy at any point in her pregnancy.

So often I discuss with pro-death people who confidentially declare, “Well, the baby can’t survive outside the womb.” The term is viability. But look closer—many babies are born premature (three or more weeks before their due date) and survive just fine. Yet while they are in the womb, their life can be snuffed out.

“Pro-death”. How cute.

And if you want to get real technical, I’m guessing at least most premature babies wouldn’t be able to survive outside the womb without medical treatment. These premature babies didn’t come out the womb as if they were simply miniature versions of the 40 week old baby and didn’t exactly “survive just fine”. Hospitals have whole units for these types of cases–NICU–because these babies need round the clock care in order to survive.

If viability becomes a factor, then abortions should be outlawed after 22 weeks (just beyond through the pregnancy). But the viability argument is a smoke screen from the Left used to cloud the abortion issue because viability is meaningless to them.

The centerpiece of women’s rights is the freedom to kill their unborn child. If viability determines when the child can be killed, then women are no longer in charge. This undermines their entire position. If the mother is not allowed to decide who lives or dies, she has lost the right to choose; thus, viability threatens choice and is meaningless to the Left.

Faust is not technically wrong in pointing out this paradox in the pro-choice side and it’s a flaw I’m willing to admit to. But maybe he should also acknowledge flaws on his own side, too. Pro-life paradox #1: Point out flaws in the pro-choice side, but ignoring flaws in your own logic. Flaw like Pro-life paradox #2: Saying “abortion is murder of innocent babies” because “God says so” when that same God drowned an entire population that included pregnant women carrying “innocent babies”.

And correction: the centerpiece of the abortion debate is bodily autonomy. And this does have some flaws. While pro-choice supporters unanimously agree elective abortion is okay through the first trimester and most of the second, there’s debate on what’s acceptable going into the third trimester possibly because of one question: when does a fetus become a person? The argument of bodily autonomy starts getting a bit dicey when the fetus starts looking more like a human baby and less like a fleshy alien with a lemon-head.

To pro-life supporters, personhood comes with conception. To pro-choice supporters, the answer becomes complicated by a variety of factors, which has led to many schools of thought on when human life gains personhood. Viability—the ability to survive outside the womb, albeit with medical intervention—is one such factor and one many agree on.

It is my personal belief that personhood is officially gained upon birth when it becomes its own separate being and doesn’t physically rely on a host for sustenance. However, I’m also inclined to think there should be a cut-off point on when a woman can get an abortion in order to protect her health. There’s no denying that the further a woman is in her pregnancy, the more risky abortion becomes. Perhaps–just throwing this out there– there should be a point where a woman can elect to get an abortion and anything after that point is taken on a case-by-case basis. Fetal viability could be the deciding factor on what that point could be—currently, most experts agree that point is at least 24 weeks.

Science has debunked the viability smoke screen since babies born at 22 weeks, 6 days gestation ARE surviving outside the mother’s womb. That child is NOT a part of the mother’s anatomy. The child is a separate and unique human being and deserves protection.

Science has also debunked links between abortion and cancer and “post abortion stress syndrome”, but the pro-life crowd refuses to acknowledge this. Pro-life paradox #3: believing science when it supports their cause, but denying it when it supports choice.

New York liberals showed their true colors by abandoning any pretense of viability to affirm “open season” on unwanted babies regardless of any consideration. This cold-hearted and calculated mindset comes from those who claim to protect the weak, oppressed, and marginalized among us.

Except, as previously stated, this is not what the Reproductive Health Act actually does. But that hasn’t stopped pro-life supporters from coming up with fantasies of fully pregnant women faking depression or some other illness in order to convince some “pro-abort doctor” that will let the woman have an abortion without trying out any treatment first. (No really: this is an actual argument I saw.)

To any who claim to champion the poor and oppressed, but cheer this New York law, you need never wonder why you have zero credibility.

Coming from the man whose on the side of claiming to champion human life and that the voiceless and defenseless need protection, but then turns a blind eye towards human suffering outside the womb.

Pro-life paradox #4: Claiming to champion human life while doing nothing that actually helps human lives outside the womb (and maybe in the womb to some extent) and then criticizing those who have supported efforts to better the lives of others just because they support a woman’s right to choose what’s best for her. It becomes more of a paradox if the pro-life beliefs are based on Christian beliefs, which tells followers to help others.

Not to mention many pro-life supporters have also attacked and marginalized certain groups of human beings (like the LGBT+) because “God”, thereby becoming oppressors of these groups.

Pro-life paradox #5: Claiming ALL human life is sacred and invaluable, but then showing that the sacredness of human life is negotiable when the fetus in the womb grows up to become something that supposedly defies the laws set by Christianity.