They Have Fingernails

There are many different viewpoints that fall into the category of Conservative; you can be fiscally conservative, morally conservative, politically conservative, you can believe in a strict interpretation of the Constitution and the Amendments and you can be pro-life. With that in mind, this blog post addresses a national news headline regarding  an abortion doctor, Kermit P. Gosnell, who has been arrested and charged with eight counts of murder following a grand jury investigation. According to reports, Gosnell delivered seven infants, born alive, in the sixth, seventh and eighth months. He then killed them by severing their spinal cords with scissors. I am outraged. We may live in a country where a woman has the legal ability to obtain an abortion but an unwanted child born alive does not translate into “finishing the job.” Most human beings would recognize, at that point at least, that the infant is, in fact, alive and has the intrinsic right to life. Why aren’t the nurses being charge? Why aren’t the mothers? If you know someone is about to kill a living  person and you do nothing about it, aren’t you considered an accessory to murder? And if so, why would that not apply in this case, when a baby is born alive and no one stops the doctor from killing the child?

You may recall that in 2002 the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act made it illegal to kill an infant born alive after a failed attempt at an induced abortion. What you may not know is that depending on the care an infant receives, many are able to survive if born after 23 weeks. For those with math difficulty, that’s roughly five months. That’s right, those babies born at six and seven and eight months, could have survived. In case you were doing the math, Gosnell delivered seven babies but has eight counts of murder. That eighth count is for the death of a 41 year old woman who died due to an anesthesia overdose while under his care.

I have to ask- why was this acceptable? Even if you refuse to acknowledge life at earlier stages, life when conception happens or when the heart is beating or when the baby has fingernails, how can you not recognize it when it is a baby, separate from his or her mother?  These actions occurred at Women’s Medical Society in Philadelphia, an area known to serve minorities and the poor. Did these factors play a part in the refusal of anyone on the staff to report these horrendous crimes? And, how many other babies died at the end of a pair of scissors?

Maybe you’re not outraged, but my guess is that the majority of Americans are. According to a poll released in 2009 by Gallop, Americans consider themselves pro-life by a margin of 51 to 42 percent. As of December 2010 there are 38 states which prohibit abortions after a specified point in the child’s life and 33 states that have outlawed public funding of abortion. Yes, progress is being made to protect life, but the number of abortions performed daily in the United States was at 3,315 in 2008; that’s over a million babies each year. It’s unclear just how many are killed that could have survived. I have to ask, if we do not acknowledge life before it leaves the womb, are we allowing for easy translation of an unwanted life as not being life at all?

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