Viable Conditions :: by Dan Payne

Recently Pope Francis gave all priests in the Catholic Church the “power” or “right” to “forgive” or “pardon” the “grave sin” of abortion. For now at least, it appears that the Catholic Church still labels abortion as a “grave sin.” One cannot help but wonder when that stance will erode.

The subject of abortion is a “hot-button” issue in the western world. Emotions run high on both sides of the “debate”. What follows is an attempt to provide a few perspectives on the subject to consider.

The day has arrived for a baby to be born, but when exactly can it be referred to as a baby and not a “fetus”? Many people say that a baby is a fetus while it still resides in the womb of its mother. At what point during the delivery does it become a baby?

When only its head or when the entire body has been delivered? Or is it after a full delivery, airway cleared, and umbilical cut? Is it then a “baby” and no longer a “fetus?”

It doesn’t make much sense to call an unborn child a fetus an hour before it’s born and call it a baby a minute after. Calling an unborn child a “fetus” instead of a “baby” dehumanizes a human being to make it easier to end its life.

What about “viability”? Here is a common definition:

When used to describe a fetus, or developing baby, the term viability refers to the time in pregnancy when the baby can be born and have a reasonable chance of survival. For most hospitals in the United States the age of viability is about 24 weeks 0 days of the pregnancy.

Another definition:

Viability: Noun – ability to live, especially under certain conditions: The viability of a fetus outside the womb has increased dramatically with the advent of new technologies and procedures.

Specifically in relation to human pregnancy, “viability” is the concatenation of the prefix “vi” which means “the sum of five and one” and “ability”. “Vi-ability” defines the general consensus of medical science that a “fetus” has the ability to survive outside of the womb after the sixth month of pregnancy.

Many who defend the right of a mother to choose to have an abortion explain that the “fetus” in her womb is not “viable” or it cannot survive without her so therefore it is part of her body.

“Women have the right to choose what to do with their own bodies”, as the defense goes. This right is also described as “reproductive rights” and “reproductive freedom”.

It should be very obvious that an unborn baby cannot survive without its mother. But what about after it’s born, what is its “viability” then? The definition states that viability “is the ability to live, especially under certain conditions”. What about those conditions outside of the womb?

What if on the day a baby is born, all of those who assisted in the delivery leave the mother and her baby alone, can the baby still survive with only its mother? Yes, of course it can.

Now what if that new mother also left with those who assisted her in the delivery? What if the baby was placed in a crib after being taken home after a brief hospital stay and subsequently abandoned?

What if after two weeks of no one feeding or caring for the baby the baby was found, would it likely be alive or dead? How “viable” is the baby without its mother or someone to care for it after it has been born?

It can be argued that viability applies before and after a baby is born. Why is it a crime for a mother to abandon her baby to the point of death after it has been born, but not before?

It is obvious that a baby still needs its mother in order to survive outside the womb so therefore a newborn baby is not “viable” outside of the womb either. Again, using a term such as “viability” is just smoke and mirrors used to desensitize the killing of unborn children.

In reference to the body of the mother, what about a hemolytic reaction? An “acute hemolytic transfusion reaction” occurs when a recipient receives blood of a different type than their own during a transfusion, which can be fatal.

Many children have a different blood type (O, A, B, or AB, etc.) than their mother. If the blood of either the baby or the mother flowed into the bloodstream of the other, then that person would die. How then can the body of a baby with a different blood type than its mother still be the body of its mother?

Apparently a baby is only the body of its mother when it needs the body of its mother in order to survive. Using this logic the same rule should apply after a baby is born that applies before the baby is born.

That is, it should be equally wrong for a mother, for no other reason than convenience, to abandon the body of her baby to death before the baby is born as it is after they are born.

Recently, a terrible accident occurred in Chattanooga Tennessee in which a school bus packed with kindergarten through fifth graders overturned and struck a tree killing at least six children.

Many people along with the major media outlets roared in sorrow over the tragic loss of the lives of the children, and rightly so. Nothing breaks hearts quite like dear little children being tragically killed.

But why such sorrow over the deaths of these children just a short time after they’re born but no sorrow or shame over intentionally killing them just before they’re born?

Only hardened hearts refuse to consider the logic or reason of these perspectives.

Soften your heart and consider the lives of unborn children.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV).