Obama’s Viability Abortion Stance

Keyes vs Obama

Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Alan Keyes are fighting for the Illinois Senate seat. I am from California, but this is the first time I have seen two minorities on extreme sides of the political spectrum, Obama an extreme liberal Democrat, and Keyes an extreme conservative Republican, and both highly educated, going toe to toe. So I’ve been following this race somewhat closely.

Throughout their discussions on abortion, Obama gave his reasons for supporting abortion,

Obama said he opposes abortion after a fetus becomes able to exist outside a woman’s body.

“Prior to viability, the problem is that this potential life is in someone else’s body. … I don’t feel it is appropriate for me then to simply dictate to that person, to that woman, what she should do with her body,” Obama said.

There are two arguments here, one is the “Viability Argument” the other is the “Choice Argument”. I have already addressed the choice argument at length before, so I’d like to concentrate on the viability argument. I get most of this response from Beckwiths book, Politically Correct Death. It is a long response but a definite worth read,

There are a number of problems with the viability criterion. First how does viability transform the nature of the fetus so that the non-human being then turns into a human being? That is to say, viability is a measure of the sophistication of our neonatal life-support systems. Humanity remains the same, but viability changes. Viability measures medical technology, not one’s humanity.

Second, is viability not just an extrinsic criterion imposed upon the fetus by some members of society who simply declare that the fetus will be accepted at that moment as a human being? In other words, the viability criterion seems to be arbitrary and not applicable to the question of whether the unborn is fully human, since it relates more to the location and dependency of the unborn than to any essential change in her state of being. This criterion only tells us when certain members of our society want to accept the humanity of the unborn.

Third, the time of viability cannot be determined precisely, and this fact would create great practical problems for those who hold this opinion. For example, in 1973, when the Supreme Court legalized abortion, viability was at about twenty-four weeks. But now babies have survived 20 weeks after conception. This, of course, puts the pro-abortionist in a morally difficult situation. For some health care facilities are killing viable babies by abortion in one room while in another room heroically trying to save premature infants (preemies). It seems only logical that if the 21-week-old preemie is fully human, then so is the 28-week-old unborn who can be legally killed by abortion. An early horror story from New York about nursers who were expected to alternate between caring for six-month premature infants and disposing of viable 24-week aborted fetuses is just that — a horror story.

Comments: It’s almost like saying the 2 year old can be left in the backyard to starve, because it has no legal claim to the food in the mother’s pantry, or to the roof over the mother’s head.

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