The Humanity of a Fetus and the Inhumanity of Our Abortion Politics

Wading into the abortion debate is a perilous undertaking, but Senator Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) recent incendiary remarks cannot be ignored. “From Louisiana, to Missouri, to Texas—Republican legislatures are waging war on women—all women. And they’re taking away fundamental rights,” Schumer said last week at a rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. “I want to tell you Gorsuch, I want to tell you Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

Leaders of the Democratic party, like Schumer, are engaging in what might be the most despicable form of pandering imaginable. To appease a militant fringe of nihilistic, self-absorbed “pro-choice” fanatics, they are willing to legalize murder. And as Schumer demonstrates, now they are even willing to threaten anyone who may object.

Most people can agree there is a difference between consuming a morning-after pill and performing a late-term abortion. The former, however hideous it may be from a religious and moral perspective, is clearly more humane than the latter, which by any objective standard is the violent killing of a human being.

New York, a bastion of Democratic Party power and Schumer’s home state, recently passed a law permitting “late-term abortions.” Specifically, the law permits abortions after 24 weeks if there is “an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.”

Let’s not speculate as to how subjective the assessment of “fetal viability” or “patient’s life or health” may be. That’s fodder for endless debate. But what about a perfectly normal fetus that’s 24 weeks old? What sort of a human being is that? It’s certainly more than a lump of barely differentiated cells that can be terminated in the first few days after conception. So what is it? To answer that, the following story is enlightening.

The Rescuing Hug

In 1995, two twins, Kyrie and Brielle Jackson, were premature infants. Born after only 24 weeks in the womb, both girls had health problems and were placed in separate incubators. One of them, Brielle, went into critical condition, and in desperation, against hospital protocol, nurse Gayle Kasparian moved the stronger twin into the same incubator with her dying sister.

And then something miraculous happened.

The stronger twin, Kyrie, put her arm around Brielle, and quickly Brielle’s temperature returned to normal, and her heart rate stabilized. These two girls are now healthy young women leading normal lives.

Chuck Schumer, and every other pandering Democrat, is invited to imagine what was going on in the mind of that human being, only 24 weeks after conception. Here was this little person, physically struggling to stay alive, missing the companion who had been by her side for her entire limited existence. She was alone, unable to understand why, and she was dying. And then her twin was returned to her side, and her world regained some of the comfort to which she’d grown accustomed. She got stronger. She lived.

This is not a story of a bundle of nonviable cells. This is the story of a person. This is the person that Chuck Schumer and every other extremist “pro-choice” advocate have decided it’s OK to kill for no reason apart from being unwanted by the mother.

Even if you support Roe v. Wade, it did not understand itself as giving anyone the right to murder. What the decision hinged upon, right or wrong, was the “viability” of the fetus. And “viability” is now on a collision course with technology.

In 2014, Courtney Stensrud gave birth to an infant girl in Texas after only 21 weeks of pregnancy. That baby is now a healthy 5-year-old, with no mental or health disabilities.

Everyone knows that extremely premature infants can suffer extreme health challenges and that many of them don’t survive long after being born. That’s not the point. What matters is that a 24-week-old fetus is a human being, with thoughts and feelings, capable of feeling a sense of identity, capable of giving and receiving companionship.

Argue all you like over where to draw the line of “viability.” But don’t pretend that aborting a normal 24-week-old fetus isn’t murder.

The Stunning Hypocrisy

One of the reasons Democrats are willing to defend killing babies in the womb is that if these babies are born, they may end up leading problematic lives, trapped in poverty, raised by unwilling parents, facing a life of discrimination, ineligible for the entitlements or privileges that our society is unwilling or unable to afford. Yet these same Democrats insist that Americans open the borders to flood the cities with economic refugees from all over the world.

The only way to explain this paradox is to understand the common motivation, which is crass political calculation and opportunism. In the case of being “pro-choice,” Democrats want to defend laws that place few if any restrictions on abortion because that helps them tag Republicans as waging a “war on women,” as if to recognize the humanity of a fetus somehow equates to misogyny.

In the case of immigration, Democrats call for open borders because that helps them tag Republicans as “racists” and “xenophobes,” as if it constitutes unforgivable bigotry to recognize reality: America can’t possibly absorb the billion or so people who would come here from elsewhere.

If the press and the social media monopolies weren’t overwhelmingly partisan in favor of Democrats, the extremists who think aborting a 24-week-old fetus is a “human right” would be exposed for their cold-blooded inhumanity. Have a look at these videos published by the Campaign for Life Coalition. Then go try to find them on YouTube.

When politicians like Chuck Schumer descend so low as to issue veiled threats of violence against sitting U.S. Supreme Court justices, it’s time for everyone to speak out, not just pro-life advocates. Those of us who recognize the humanity of the fetus may still be able to acknowledge that, in some respects at least, there is a legal case to be made by pro-choice advocates. But we reserve our empathy for those who choose life.

Chuck Schumer is encouraged to avoid making those of us who have stayed out of the abortion debate have to pick one extreme or the other. Because if and when that happens, it will be Schumer, and every other phony political hack who panders to the pro-choice extremists, who reaps the whirlwind.

About Edward Ring

Edward Ring is a senior fellow of the Center for American Greatness. He is also is a contributing editor and senior fellow with the California Policy Center, which he co-founded in 2013 and served as its first president. Ring is the author of Fixing California: Abundance, Pragmatism, Optimism (2021) and The Abundance Choice: Our Fight for More Water in California (2022).

Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

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