The David Brooks commentary titled “The Abortion Memo” caught my eye as he highlighted the abortion issue from a political perspective. He referred to the fact that only three Democratic senators voted in favor of banning abortion after 20 weeks. Only after outlining the damage Democrats had inflicted upon their party, did he explain the core issue.
Aside from the politics, the babies are viable outside the womb at 22 weeks. The increased resolution of today’s ultrasound machines allow parents to see their baby’s face earlier and earlier. Research around the world indicates fetuses prefer to look at face-like images while in the womb, and they can distinguish taste. Late in term, they can recognize words, tunes and languages, and they seem to be crying in the 28th week.
Unfortunately, this vital issue of life and death has become a political football rather than a matter of social conscience. How is it possible in our world of social justice and civil rights, we can be so ambivalent to the right to life as long as the fetus or baby resides in the womb.
As the parents of three adopted children and an adopted grandchild, my wife and I owe a debt of gratitude to those biological mothers who were willing to give birth to their children, acknowledging that there was an alternative to abortion. I’m sure that the less complicated decision to terminate the pregnancy was appealing, but in retrospect they avoided the longer-term pain caused by taking their babies lives.
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Hilton Head Island
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