Thursday, October 25, 2012

Do We Really Value the Unborn?

Do miscarriages invalidate the prolife philosophy? I've heard this objection to the prolife view a few times. Our friend Vinny has used it a couple of times here. Let's break it up into two parts.

1. Prolifers claim every unborn child is valuable, but there are miscarriages all the time. It's natural. What's the problem with embyo/fetus being aborted?

Yes, babies die before birth all the time. They die after birth, too. People die every day of all kinds of things, natural and otherwise. That's no reason to make murder legal, and it's no reason abortion should be legal.

2. There are countless miscarriages every year. If the unborn are so valuable, why is no one trying to do anything about it? (Implied: Obviously it's just your little group that thinks it's a big deal.)

The response to this is more complicated. First, miscarriages don't devalue the unborn. Ask any woman who's had one.

Second, it is a little "out of sight, out of mind." Especially before the first ultrasound (and in the past, before "quickening"), the whole idea that there's a baby in there is a bit surreal. Losing a child you've never touched is a lot like waking up from a dream. If as many babies died right after birth as die in the first trimester, the response would be greater, not because they are more valuable, but because we could see it happening.

Third, as sad as they are, I think the common attitude is that there was probably something wrong with the child, and that's why it didn't thrive. That may be wishful thinking, but I think that is a part of why there isn't more concern.

Fourth, but people are doing something about it. That's why sonograms abound. It's why we try to fix problems in babies in utero. It's why women who are trying to get pregnant now take folic acid supplements. It's why we have drugs to help thicken uterine linings. That this research doesn't get as much press as breast cancer research doesn't mean it's not there and that it's not important.

The question for the pro-choice crowd is, what happens, and when, to make this valueless blob of tissue suddenly a valuable human baby?

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