THE LATEST THINKING
The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.
Life Cannot Compete with Choice
A judge blocks a newly-signed Mississippi law using the wrong law to make his decision. Whether pro-choice or pro-life, the judge did not address the purpose of the new law - to protect life - but rather made his decision on a woman's right to choose. When does the protection of life override an individual choice?
A temporary block was placed by a judge on a newly-passed Mississippi law designed to protect an unborn child from being aborted once it reached 15-weeks’ gestation.
This law is to protect the unborn child when the child can feel pain when forcibly extracted during an abortion procedure. The judge based his decision on the right of a woman to choose when she wants to have an abortion. The clinic needed the block because it already scheduled an abortion on a woman that was further along than the 15 weeks, meaning the clinic was going to lose money.
The purpose of the law was to protect a person’s life. The judge’s decision was based on the Roe v. Wade decision regarding when an unborn child is considered ‘viable.’ The judge stated that ‘viable’ meant when a baby could be born or removed from the mother and could sustain life.
Today’s social acceptance appears to be that when a baby is actually born, killing the baby through abortion procedures (such as injections of chemicals and suctioning off body parts) would be murder whereas if the baby can be killed, vacuumed, and removed in pieces just prior to him or her leaving the womb, it continues to be a mother’s right of choice.
It is also presumed in society that if the newborn is capable of remaining alive, he or she is considered, ‘viable.’ The problem with that definition is that prematurely-born babies are placed in neonatal intensive care units with oxygen tents, monitoring equipment, and personalized nursing care until the infant is ‘stable’ enough to be taken out of that environment.
In other words, when born prematurely, it is no longer acceptable to kill the baby, but the baby by current definition is still not viable, unable to survive without the NICU care. A parent is never asked about having the premature infant killed or to have the infant left to fend for him or herself. Everyone knows the baby cannot stay alive without the extra attention.
This new law addresses the right of the unborn child. This new law addresses when this unborn child is capable of feeling pain and when, using current abortion procedures, causes the unborn child excruciating pain until he or she dies. If the infant can feel pain, has a heartbeat, has a developing brain and lungs, and is able to be nourished through the umbilical cord while continuing to develop, how does that unborn child become less viable than a premature child that spends the remaining developing weeks in NICU?
Did the judge overstep his bounds because he used the wrong law to make his decision so a for-profit clinic could continue its business? Does the judge need to consider the life of the child, based on how the law was written, rather than ignoring the law’s purpose?
Whether pro-life or pro-choice, there is a responsibility to care for and protect life. That is the essence of this law.
"The law threatens immediate, irreparable harm to Mississippians' abilities to control their 'destiny and ... body,'" a district...