Obama Would Evidently Throw The Baby Out With The Bathwater
Obama Would Evidently Throw The Baby Out With The Bathwater
The Abortion Issue
It seems that Senator Obama is described as having one of the most extreme positions that one can find when it comes to the issue of abortion. In this article, I want to briefly investigate the issue of abortion and determine where Senator Obama is regarding this issue within the context of the protecting rights of the mother and the developing baby.
The Courts have generally looked at the issue as a balancing of the rights of the mother and her body against the rights of the State and its interest in protecting her rights and the rights of the unborn. If my memory serves, Roe v. Wade laid out a continuum of increasing and decreasing interests regarding the decision about having an abortion. Basically, the mother’ interests were strongest the earlier in the pregnancy, especially in the first trimester; and the State’s interest in protecting the unborn increases as we get further along in the pregnancy, especially in the last trimester. The Court I believe also clearly recognized the State’s duty to protect the mother’s health and privacy interests regarding the decision to terminate a pregnancy, which were stronger earlier in the timeline until the issue of viability comes into question.
However, because this issue raises the question of when a human life begins, a baby, a person – some will always be severely distressed if the line of “a person worthy of protection” is drawn past what a person’s personal believe is. If the line is drawn one second past an individual’s personal line, abortions could be considered murder and could morally demand the person’s constant struggle to change the law. With that understood I still want to explore this issue and the balancing of interests in terms of the places where the decisions are harder and places where the decisions appear easier to most, in order to examine where the Senator comes down. Therefore, I’m going to basically agree with the Court’s reasoning in Roe v. Wade regarding how the interests of the parties are balanced as a starting point for this discussion. (I’m not going to address the right to privacy implied by the Court here.)
However, I do want to consider shifting some of the meaning of terminology that is always used with this issue – fetus and viability. It seems to me that given how far today’s science and medicine have advanced since 1973 when Roe v. Wade was decided, I would hope that we can consider taking a deeper look regarding what science might be able to tell us in terms of the development of the fetus. Instead of primarily addressing the question in terms of viability of the fetus, why not first try to answer the question of when the emergence of a human consciousness or behavior begins? Then perhaps that could that be the starting point where the State’s opposing interests begin to collide?
This determination might entail utilizing some sort of test for a particular type of brain activity or reflex response. (I’m not a medically trained person.) Today’s science may be able to find a definitive point, a level of brain activity, or test of development that would assure or reassure a substantial majority of the population (70-80%) that we understand a clear point of development that is equivalent to “the beginnings of a person under the law”? At any point prior to this point, the mother’s interests would be exclusive for purposes of this discussion. (As I understand it, the brain is actively beginning to grow at week 6 and then at week 10 the medical terminology of fetus begins.)
Week 6 & Week 10
I realize this method will not give any relief to people who believe life begins at conception and I’m sorry; however, I suspect it might also raise concern for those who are perfectly content with the viability analysis which I believe occurs somewhere at the end of the 4th month or beginning of the 5th month of fetal development.
However, on the other end of the development issue, given the medical advances, is the term fetus now too broad? Could a similar test of brain wave activity or reflexes indicate appropriate brain activity and/or consciousness in terms of a normal baby at birth? (Pain, recognition, awareness) Maybe that occurs at the 6th, 7th or 8th month? Might we call this fetus an “Infant” instead of merely a viable fetus? Could this type of analysis redefine how we weight the interests being balanced under the Court’s decision?
I think there is and has been such strong resistance to changing this particular term because it would just be too hard to get around the morality involved in terminating the life of an infant as opposed to that of a fetus. To me, this dancing on a pinhead regarding the semantics of terminology borders on absurdity, it is what it is. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck – I prefer to be honest with myself and call it duck. In this case, in the last trimester it sure looks like an infant to me.
So what are the interests to be considered in this context of this discussion?
Let’s quickly look at the first 3 separately, starting within the core areas of agreement and continuing out towards the situations where the many would disagree. Considering all the circumstances (point in pregnancy, adoption an option, etc.), this might be the place where the State says, I sort of see your position but not quite.
Jeopardy to the mother’s life, rape or incest, health of the mother, likelihood of baby contracting a horrible condition, mental instability of the mother, drug addicted mother, severe depression, mother’s in jail, moderate depression, age of the mother, does not want a baby, financial situation of the mother, father is not available, father doesn’t want it, parents won’t allow it, career would be negatively impacted, inconvenient at this time, apartment doesn’t allow children, etc.
I think most people could agree that the first 6, 7 or 8 of these weigh heavy in the mother’s favor regarding the mother’s right to chose to terminate a pregnancy.
Week 40 (9.3months) –
The Baby is delivered.
Your baby acts completely like a newborn, with her eyes opened when awake and closed when sleeping. You may also find her settling into more of a routine for sleeping & awake times.
Week 30 (7 months)-
His head is getting larger to accommodate a period of rapid brain growth.
Your baby has the capability now to produce tears — yes, within the womb.
Week 26 (6 months) –
Brain wave activity for hearing and sight begins to be detectable.
Fetal brain scans show response to touch. If you shine a light on your abdomen, your baby will turn his head, which according to researchers, means his optic nerve is working.
Your baby is able to hear.
Week 22 (5.1 Months)
“Your baby can now hear your conversations more clearly than before!. When you talk, read, or sing, expect her to hear you. …Your baby’s brain has entered a stage of rapid growth, especially in what’s called the germinal matrix. This structure deep in the middle of the brain serves as a kind of factory for brain cells and disappears shortly before birth. But the brain’s amazing expansion program continues until around the five birthday.
Week 21 (4.9 Months)
Abortions from here forward are considered late term abortions.
He or she has a much more normal “human” appearance now. She holds her head more erect and her body and limbs are longer in proportion to her head.
Fetus begins to practice inhaling and exhaling movements
Baby has begun movement –
Heart and primitive circulatory system rapidly form – While still in its beginning stages, this is the very life support system that will carry your child throughout his or her life.
I believe that most people would agree if they considered the situation, the first 5 or 6 situations weigh heavy in the fetus’s favor to not have the pregnancy terminated.
The many stages of development of the fetus clearly indicate the need to make a decision as early as possible in a pregnancy and it seems to me most people would agree that waiting to make the decision to terminate should not be held against the fetus except for very good reason.
As indicated earlier, the State has two basic interests to protect. The first duty is to protect the rights and health of the mother which are strongest in the earlier stages of a pregnancy. The second duty is to protect the rights of the unborn. Naturally, at some point the rights of the fetus will collide with the mother’s rights. I believe it was Justice O’Conner that pointed out that this point of collision will come earlier and earlier as science and medicine advance. It seems that States are all over the place regarding how these opposing interests are weighted and interpreted. That’s an issue for another day.
So where does Senator Barack Obama fit into this discussion. His position is being defined by a series of votes and committee actions that occurred when he was in the Illinois Senate. The issue involved the Illinois Induced Infant Liability Act, which would have protected babies that survived late-term abortions. Senator Obama voted against it in 2002 and killed it in committee. A very similar Bill was making its way through Congress at about the same time, which passed unanimously in the Senate on a voice vote. Senator Obama has since said that he too would have voted for the federal bill because the language included could not be used to undermine Roe v. Wade.
According to factcheckbarackobama.com:
The Illinois legislation read, “A live child born as a result of an abortion shall be fully recognized as a human person and accorded immediate protection under the law.” The Born Alive Infant Protections Act read, “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being ‘born alive’ as defined in this section.…
…NARAL Executive Vice President Mary Jane Gallagher said, “We, in fact, did not oppose this bill. There’s a clear legal difference now between a fetus in utero versus a child that’s born. And when a child is born, they deserve every protection that this country can provide them.”…
I just wonder how one explains the clear legal difference to a fetus in utero who is exactly the same age as the baby that is born?
Normally, I can understand a lawyer’s dancing on the head of a pin for the sake of not wanting to undermine a future legal argument or position. However, regarding Senator Obama, some other details give me pause and raise questions about whether his stated motivation(s) can be trusted.
Ms. Carpenter, former congressional correspondent & assistant editor for Human Events, reported:
…Jill Stanek, a registered delivery-ward nurse who was the prime mover behind the legislation after she witnessed aborted babies’ being born alive and left to die, testified twice before Obama in support of the Induced Infant Liability Act bills. She also testified before the U.S. Congress in support of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.
Stanek told me her testimony “did not faze” Obama.
In the second hearing, Stanek said, “I brought pictures in and presented them to the committee of very premature babies from my neonatal resuscitation book from the American Pediatric Association, trying to show them unwanted babies were being cast aside. Babies the same age were being treated if they were wanted!”
“And those pictures didn’t faze him [Obama] at all,” she said.
At the end of the hearing, according to the official records of the Illinois State senate, Obama thanked Stanek for being “very clear and forthright,” but said his concern was that Stanek had suggested “doctors really don’t care about children who are being born with a reasonable prospect of life because they are so locked into their pro-abortion views that they would watch an infant that is viable die.” He told her, “That may be your assessment, and I don’t see any evidence of that. What we are doing here is to create one more burden on a woman and I can’t support that.”…
When I weigh his spontaneous use of the words “one more burden on a woman” against a “new born baby” or the possibility of a “viable fetus” of exactly the same age that has also survived an abortion attempt, I fail to see that he is consciously making or considering any kind of legal distinction or analysis that the Illinois bill might undermine Roe v. Wade. He appears to be Pro-Choice, period, with no limitations. The Senator’s statement certainly does not entertain the idea that the same bill with a few more words of legal disclaimer would garner his eager support.
Considering the Senator’s statement earlier this year when he said, “I don’t want my daughters to be punished with a baby.” I genuinely question if there is any point in a pregnancy where the Senator would come down on the side of the right of a “fetus” to live if it went against the wishes of the mother. (I thought about describing the partial birth abortion procedure in this article, but it is too gruesome. If you care to read about it go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partial-birth_abortion )
I suspect that Senator Obama’s after the fact defense of his votes against the Illinois bill were nothing more than political pandering for votes of the worst kind. Women can vote and a fetus can’t. It’s kind of like his statement that if he had been in the Senate when the Iraq war resolution was taken up he would have definitely voted against it. His words appear only to be, “Just Words”, words for political advantage.
Therefore, I urge anyone who is Pro-Life or somewhere in the middle on this issue to think very carefully how you cast your vote. You may wind up with some very troubling consequences.
Again, the main stream media lets Senator Obama have a pass. Just the way they have regarding serious allegations surrounding his associations with Rezko, Wright, Ayers, Farrakhan and the many other questionable characters in his life. The media is just now starting to cover the John Edwards scandal, only because they can’t avoid it. However, they continue to avoid like the plague, the allegations of Larry Sinclair that he and Senator Obama used cocaine and engaged in consensual gay sex in 1999.
The following sites provided most of the information for this article.
http://www.pregnancy.org/pregnancy/fetaldevelopment1.php (First Trimester of Fetal Development)
http://www.pregnancy.org/pregnancy/fetaldevelopment2.php (Second Trimester of Fetal Development)
http://www.pregnancy.org/pregnancy/fetaldevelopment3.php (Third Trimester of Fetal Development)