So When Is A Baby A Baby?

By John Trandem, NDRL Chairman of the Board

The recent release of undercover videos, featuring Planned Parenthood in their own words, has breathed new life into the debate over the equal protection of human life.  The agenda and actions of those who perform abortions have been exposed, as has their proclivity to violate federal law to line their pockets.

Much has been made of the “heavily edited” videos (available in entirety), despite the two independent forensic investigations, one of which was initiated and paid for by Planned Parenthood, which both concluded that there was no manipulation or deceptive editing.  These facts have not stopped the claims of “doctored” videos evidenced by Cecile Richards’ Congressional testimony.

The claim rings particularly hollow when few critics even attempt to identify the proper context for such statements as, “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”  by Planned Parenthood’s Deb Nucatola while describing altering the abortion procedure to attain better specimens, which is illegal.  Nucatola also stated, “I think for affiliates, at the end of the day, they’re a nonprofit, they just don’t want to — they want to break even. And if they can do a little better than break even, and do so in a way that seems reasonable, they’re happy to do that”  As a small-business owner, that is exactly what I strive to do.  It’s called profit, and is also, in the previous scenario, illegal.

These are just two from a multitude of incriminating statements for which nobody, despite their claims of improper context and manipulation, has effectively undone.  I suppose it is hard to make the case that a person meant the exact opposite of what they said.

The question of defunding Planned Parenthood has been met with cries that this will deny women access to care.  The legislation passed in Congress addresses that concern by redirecting the funds now going to Planned Parenthood to other federally qualified community health centers, which results in a dramatic expansion of opportunities for low-income women to access care.  Nationally, access would increase from 665 Planned Parenthood locations to up to 13,540 Community Health Centers.  In North Dakota alone, women would have as many as 71 options rather than their current zero Planned Parenthood locations.  Why did we wait to find out that the Wal-Mart of abortion is actively engaging in criminal activity to offer this expansion of services to women?  It should have been done long ago.

So when is a baby, a baby?  Biologists have identified these traits with certainty; a post-conception being is alive and growing, contains human DNA, is an independent organism (not part of the mother’s body), and is classified as a homo sapien.  Even Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Savita Ginde affirms this standard in the unsolicited and rhetoric-eviscerating proclamation, “It’s a baby!” while sifting through fetal remains.

To take the science of the matter a step further, look at the scientific continuum of human life.  The only logical dividing lines, between which no other lines of distinction exist, are conception and death; these are the sole delineations before which the being in question is significantly different than after.  This is not a religious standard, rather the only standard which satisfies the necessity of distinctive lines.  One may choose to apply alternative non-distinctive lines such as birth or viability, but these do not satisfy the evidentiary necessity of distinctive lines by any other standard than “what I think”.   Unfortunately, science, logic, and reason are often rendered irrelevant when they threaten to come between us and something we desperately want.

This brings us to the larger debate at hand.  The answer as to whether or not it is appropriate to intentionally terminate a pregnancy lies in the question of whether or not it results in the loss of an innocent human life; a life which deserves the same protection as every other life.  We often hear those on the pro-choice side echoing the oft-repeated refrain, “we want abortion to be safe and rare”.  Well, any procedure which defines success by the death of one of the two patients is inherently unsafe, and if nothing is lost in the performance of an abortion, why would one want it to be rare?  That very statement seems to imply that there exists the recognition that something valuable IS lost.

Reproductive rights are one thing, but after reproduction occurs, the point at which, absent intentional action to terminate or natural death, a baby has begun to grow, the question is no longer one of a woman’s reproductive rights (which have already been exercised), rather one which must also consider the rights of the wholly separate being.  What considerations outweigh the right of an innocent human to his or her life?