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JLeslie's avatar

If the law requires saving an aborted fetus if it shows any signs of life, do you worry that parents might be forced to save premies?

Asked by JLeslie (59212points) June 24th, 2019

What I mean is, if a baby is born extremely premature, with no hope of living more than a short time (I’m talking anywhere from minutes to a few weeks) or if they are saved they will be severely disabled, right now, I think the parents and doctors decide whether to do any extreme medical treatment to the baby.

Could the abortion laws affect this scenario where parents who were very happy to pregnant and wanted a baby, but had the misfortune of going into labor way too early, be forced to watch their child be poked and prodded when their choice would be to let it die in some peace?

To clarify I am only talking about extremely young premies that have no chance of being close to normal, and most likely will die even with medical help.

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13 Answers

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KNOWITALL's avatar

I feel like it’s two very different situations with their own legal scenarios.

If there’s a specific abortion law in your state or elsewhere that concerns you, I’m happy to research it.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL It just seems to me for the newborn, as an individual, it’s the same situation.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

My sister had a related scenario. She was thrilled to get pregnant but it was found that the baby had both a fatal heart defect as well as down syndrome. Abortion was the best course of action as the fetus would not live much past birth. The “heartbeat” bill would have forced her to go to term and then watch it die.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Ah you posed a scenario.

All I can say is doctors dont know everything. My grandmother was told to abort like @Are_You’s sister, she chose life and my uncle is a healthy 51 yr old man with a family.

Why do you think I’m such a defender of life? These RL situations happen every day. My uncle is not the only child who defied the odds, by any means.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL The Q is about a woman going into labor early, not about her choosing when to deliver.

Although, @ARE_you_kidding_me’s addition is also a good example of what could happen with a poorly written or poorly thought out law. The first signs of heartbeat aren’t actually a 4 chamber human heart, it’s just a pulse. Plus, even if we say, ok it’s a heart beat, I know two people who aborted when they found out their baby basically had no brain to sustain life after birth. They wanted to stop the current pregnancy so they could get pregnant as soon as possible. The heartbeat law would not allow them to if there are no exceptions.

Cupcake's avatar

That seems like a very plausible situation.

I am a perinatal researcher and previously worked in Neonatology as a clinical data analyst for over a decade. This is within my area of professional expertise.

In my professional and personal opinion, this would be an unintended consequence of the fetal personhood laws intended to prevent or reduce access to abortion and would be a grave misfortune, costing millions of medical dollars and compounding trauma for families.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@KNOWITALL not the same. Her baby was going to die. It was not possible for it to survive and be healthy. This was late-term.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Yes, I got that.

Not a statistic or number in the thread about how many RL people this could affect in a ‘dying wanted baby’ scenario vs abortion though. The point was made, which I’m sure was the goal.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL I wasn’t trying to make a point, as much as I was wondering if anyone else was thinking this way, and if anyone had any information on this possibility if they had heard anyone else bring it up.

I was in a presentation on abortion law recently, and I talked to the speaker afterwards and it wasn’t something he came across in his research, nor had he thought about one affecting the other. He is someone I know, and a retired lawyer, but he didn’t work in abortion rights or anything even close to that sort of thing. The presentation was more of a history and direct reading and interpretation of laws governing abortion, it wasn’t a presentation or discussion on what he thought should be law. He spent some time on Roe v Wade, and it was interesting during the Q&A afterwards how this one woman, who was really annoying, rude, and loud, argued with him about what Roe says, and he was reading it verbatim!

Anyone, he, and a woman who was standing near us, when I asked him about the idea seemed to react to my question like WTH am I talking about. Their first reaction was it is two separate things, an abortion and a wanted baby born early. I was wondering if maybe I’m way off base in my thinking, but I don’t think I am.

Cupcake's avatar

@JLeslie I can try to ask around. I work with obstetricians and other public health researchers.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cupcake It would be interesting to see if any OB’s have any concern about it. I feel like even if the laws weren’t meant to interfere with early births, maybe doctors would start to become nervous about repercussions and it would change their actions.

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