Politics and Science Revisited

There has been recent discussion here at WatchBlog about how government policy should be shaped by scientific findings. Everything from genetically modified food to stem cells to global warming trends has been addressed, but there’s one glaring omission from the discussion so far.

That omission is abortion policy reform. Science seems to be shouting at us that there is no way late term fetuses can be scientifically treated as non-human.

I'm quite aware that there are established legal precedents ensuring a woman's right to private health care, as well as the constitutionality of a birthed fetus being a citizen. However these arguments stand in stark contrast to observable scientific reality. How can a fetus instantly become human by leaving the womb? Science would argue that the relative location of the fetus would have no affect on the inherent humanity within the fetus. By the foundation of science, observation, we can see that fetuses born prematurely are distinctly human, arguably just as human as fetuses still in the womb (at a similar level of development) prior to their estimated delivery date. And it is not a rare case that such incredibly premature babies survive, deliveries up to 14 weeks premature enjoy a 95% survival rate.

So why do we refuse to let science dictate abortion reform? Why aren't we all advocates of banning abortions past 5 months of development? Reality shows us again and again how premature birth establishes the humanity of pre-full-term fetuses, so why can't we all stand together for this, since the impartial sciences back it up?

Posted by Andrew Parker at January 14, 2005 6:16 PM