American Principles 101

Nahida, The Fatal Feminist, contends that abortion is an inalienable right on the level of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. While I’m glad to see her return to a (for the most part) reasoned and measured approach to the subject, a major part of her argument rests on a very untrue premise:

When a woman who is 8 to 9 months pregnant arrives at a doctor’s office and says, “I don’t want to be pregnant anymore. Make me not pregnant anymore,” the doctor who agrees to abort the pregnancy, whether by triggering an early birth or by surgically removing the baby from the mother, is obligated to abort the pregnancy in such a way that does not interfere with the inalienable right to life of this (newly) independent life-form. The baby can be placed in an incubator and may survive. If it does not, the woman is even less responsible for its death than the doctor. She merely separated the fetus from her body, the same way a doctor can decide not to provide resources to sustain the child’s life if, for example, finances are inadequate.

While this seems like a laudable attempt to answer the pro-life camp on it’s own terms, this statement is only true if intended as an ethical prescription rather than a description of actual United States law and practice. Since Nahida so prominently references the Declaration of Independence in her post and uses it to frame the discussion, I think we may take the above as descriptive, not prescriptive.

In that case she is incorrect: the common abortion procedures definitely harm or outright kill the fetus. Planned Parenthood’s description of the Dilation & Evacuation process makes this quite clear:

In later second-trimester procedures, you may also need a shot through your abdomen to make sure there is fetal demise before the procedure begins.