Should the viability of the fetus be considered a good cut-off point when thinking about the legal time frame of abortion?
Women deserve the right to abort, but if they carry a fetus until it is old enough to live outside the womb, they have had more than enough time to decide. Once a fetus is viable, it is like killing a human being or a person with a disability or someone too old to take care of themselves.
The viability of the fetus should be considered in all abortions. No one should be able to abort a fetus, in my opinion, after three months. Six months is unacceptable, because the baby could be born at that point, even if it's prematurely. I see no reason to destroy a healthy fetus, when it could be put up for adoption.
It is possible to for a fetus to be viable at about 24 weeks of gestation, or about six months. By that time, most women would know they are pregnant and have time to consider their choices. One important exception to the rule would be when the fetus is found to have a major health problem or deformity after 24 weeks. This often happens because ultrasound images can be unclear, doctors want to wait a few weeks and get another ultrasound to double check their findings, and tests can be delayed until the fetus has developed further. Late term abortions are sometimes the best choice in a situation in which the child would have a short and painful life if it were born.
It is a scientific fact that life begins at conception. At that point, DNA from the mother and father combine to form a unique combination that can never be duplicated. An individual is created, and development begins. "Pro-lifers" would argue, using this logic, that abortion should be outlawed because it is no different than murder. This is a fallacy. Up until fetal viability, the fetus is completely physically dependent on its mother, meaning the mother acts as a host for the fetus's life. Without the mother, the fetus cannot survive. In essence, the mother, through pregnancy, provides a service to the fetus, which she has the right to discontinue at any time. However, at fetal viability, the fetus is no longer physically dependent on its mother, and therefore, if the mother wishes to abort the pregnancy, the life of the fetus must be protected. In this case, a premature sea-section can be performed. If a premature sea-section was to be performed before fetal viability, the fetus could obviously not survive, and the procedure becomes irrelevant; hence, the term abortion is used.
Analogies can never perfectly illustrate an issue, but I will try nonetheless. Suppose I am providing life to another man through an IV connection. Suppose that by ceasing this connection, the man dies. Is it considered murder if I cease the connection? Do I have a legal obligation to provide another human being with life at my expense? According the Constitution, no, I do not.
The fetus is alive. It is a human being, and should be treated as such. This does not mean abortion should be outlawed; quite the opposite is true.
Prior to viability, a developing fetus is not a life - it is merely a potential life. Physically, it cannot exist outside of the womb - it is biologically dependent on the uterus to survive. While a fetus is still a potential life, the interests and rights of the mother should still be considered more important than those of the developing baby. When viability is achieved, however, the fetus can properly be considered a life - if the mother were to deliver, the baby would survive! At that point, the baby has interests and rights that at least equal those of the mother. The mother should no longer be able to choose to terminate the pregnancy, since the baby is just as alive as the mother.
Once a fetus is viable and able to survive outside of the uterus, I believe that it is now it's own person. It would be very disturbing to most people to end a pregnancy when it has progressed to this stage. There needs to be clearly defined time lines of when a fetus is viable.
Once the fetus becomes viable, it becomes a baby: a person capable of sustaining its life away from its mother. Not only is it morally wrong to kill a fetus at that point, but it is also a good scientifically measurable point for a law to define. It gives abortion lawmakers an exact point to cut off an abortion, instead of the somewhat vague trimester method.
Once a fetus is a person (with moral worth), it would be immoral for it to be aborted, unless it is in the self-defense of the mother. At viability, the baby is capable of living outside of the mother anyways. It is its own person at this point. Not before, and certainly no later. Someone mentioned that a fetus can feel pain before viability, but sadly, this does NOT matter, because who cares if something with no moral worth feels pain? It can feel the pain, but it has no idea what it means and it won't remember it when it is older.
I am a big believer that babies develop faster than generally known. Babies in the womb can hear sounds and recognize voices. They respond to music and being read to. To me a viable baby is a human being that should be protected.
If a fetus can survive outside of the womb then, at that moment, they become a person, as opposed to a collection of cells. Usually, after around 23 weeks, a fetus can survive outside of the womb. This would be the logical cut-off point for the legal time frame of abortion.
The difference between an embryo at 8 weeks and a fetus at 25 is that the fetus, an older fetus is capable of life. At 8 weeks into gestation, an embryo only has the potential to be capable of life. However, I don't think viability should be the only factor for consideration. I do not believe that abortion should be permissible if the fetus is developed enough to feel pain.
The point at which a fetus is considered viable is medically specific. Prior to this point the fetus would not survive; after this point it may or may not survive. Since we are discussing the LEGAL time frame for abortion, it must be specific and measurable. The point of viability is such a point during a pregnancy.
The only other non-arbitrary points might be the first trimester, second trimester and third trimester. These can be problematic, first, because they involve the longer time periods of three months, and, second, because the precise date of conception can not always be determined--only estimated.
Using the point of viability as a cut-off point for legal decision-making has the added advantage of calming some of the moral issues in the minds of many. Aborting a non-viable fetus is much more palatable than aborting a fetus that could, conceivably, survive outside the womb.
If you have sex and get pregnant or make someone else pregnant, you brought that upon yourself. You should have the baby and take responsibility for your actions. If it is a situation of rape, it is more understandable; but there are people who have gone through that, had the baby and just gave it up for adoption.
Visit any nursing home. The elderly and disabled people are completely dependent on outside help in order to stay "viable". Legalizing abortion has taken us down this slippery slope where the extremists have to start putting values on human lives. It seems the Popes and the Catholics were right all along.
Why should a baby be killed because it hasn't matured enough to live without it's mommy. Come on. So, when people can't live without medical equipment - portable oxygen, insulin implants, inhalers, etc. - should they be fair game for murder? Just because a child is a few days, or weeks, shy of "viability" doesn't make it ok to end their life.
For one thing, viability is relative to the level of medical technology available at the time. It is a moving line that moves earlier as technology improve. Currently viability is about 20 weeks, 50 years ago the would have been inconceivable (pun intended). In any case however, the fetus is a living human person and should therefore not just be killed.
When speaking of abortion, many people have a black or white belief on the issue. Abortion is not just a "yes" or "no" question. The variables that factor in to each abortion are numerous, whether it be rape, incest, or any number of reasons. When we lay down a blanket policy on the viability of the fetus, we create a set standard that cannot cover all scenarios in the abortion issue and, thereby, also allow for the right to choose to be diminished.
Putting a time frame or cut-off point on performing abortions seems to send the message that as long as it is before that time, it should be considered acceptable. However, I think women are using abortions as a form of birth control and that is simply unacceptable. Abortions should be allowed to be performed but only under the threat of serious risk to the mother or baby, regardless of the stage of birth.
It doesn't matter whether or not a baby could survive on its own outside the mother's body, a baby is a living being when it is conceived. If we are considering whether or not to wait until they are viable on their own outside the womb then we might as well be killing anyone who needs help to complete the basic necessities of life. So get ready to have all of your handicapped or sick or elderly friends and family get put in the gas chamber!
Killing a baby after it is born is murder. What the difference between a 9 month old baby inside the uterus and a 9 month old baby outside of the uterus? For example, if somebody asked you to bomb a building, you wouldn't do it because there would be a chance that people are inside of it. What's the difference? Why would you kill someone innocent? Abortion is nothing less than a silence scream of a modern HOLOCAUST.
I am a strong proponent of a woman's right to choose what she can and cannot do with her body. Making abortions illegal would have many negative health consequences for women and set the country back. Viability is not a good option for judging when an abortion can be legally performed. With the advent of technology, viability will change. Abortion opponents will use viability in an attempt to make all abortions illegal. The definition of viability is also suspect. Who actually gets to decide the legal definition of viability? I think abortion should be legal and the debate ends there. Viability simply clouds the issue.
Slippery slope. A woman's body is her domain. No one should be able to force her to do something she does not want to do. Why do we get to decide that the fetus is more important than someone already born and alive?
We already have legislation that is leaning towards woman as incubator and not as a person in her own right. If men were the ones carrying the baby abortion would be an outpatient service covered by insurance providers.
to brendaa - a woman is not a 'building'.
Viability is not a good cut-off point for the eligibility of an abortion because scientific studies have suggested that the fetus can feel pain before it is viable. Inflicting pain and death on a fetus is unethical and laws should protect fetuses from experiencing the process of abortion, regardless of viability.
Viability is not a point where the baby becomes human. The baby is a human from conception and so abortion is murder from conception on. From God's perspective He is involved as a creator and an authority from the beginning. God spoke to Jeremiah and said while you were yet in your mothers womb I appointed you a prophet to the nations. If that happened today with modern abortion law Jeremiah may have never lived to become the prophet God ordained.