LIFE DIGEST: British babies left to die after surviving abortion

By Tom Strode
Feb 5, 2008

Dozens of unborn children targeted for abortion survive and are left alone to die each year in Great Britain, according to a new government report.

The study showed 66 babies survived abortion efforts in National Health Service facilities in 2005 alone, according to a Feb. 4 report in the Evening Standard, a British newspaper. The totals surprised observers, who previously believed only a few such deaths occurred each year.

Half of the babies lived by breathing without help for about an hour or more, while one child survived for 10 hours, the Evening Standard reported.

The abortion method used causes the mother to go into labor, with the intention the unborn baby will die during labor or birth. If a child survives, he is left unattended to die. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has recommended a baby more than 22 weeks’ gestation should be given a lethal injection in his heart, according to the newspaper.

British law permits abortions of “healthy” babies through the 24th week of pregnancy. There is a campaign to lower this maximum limit.

“The fact that babies are being aborted so late in pregnancy that they are capable of survival will make many support the notion that the upper time limit should be reduced,” said Julia Millington of the Pro-life Alliance, according to the Evening Standard.

Congress adopted a measure to prohibit what were known as “live-birth” abortions after it was discovered they were occurring in the United States. Nurses at Christ Hospital in Chicago testified in congressional hearings the method was being used in their hospital. President Bush signed the Born-alive Infants Protection Act in 2002.

Abortion advocates celebrate Roe

Abortion rights supporters found some interesting ways to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade—with some words that sound ironic, at least, to pro-life advocates.

Members of the clergy asked for God’s blessing upon a new Planned Parenthood clinic in Schenectady, N.Y.

Larry Phillips of Emmanuel-Friedens Church led about three dozen participants to lay their hands on the clinic’s outside walls, declaring the ground “sacred and holy . . . where women’s voices and stories are welcomed, valued and affirmed, sacred ground where women are treated with dignity, supported in their role as moral decision-makers . . . sacred ground where the violent voices of hatred and oppression are quelled.”

Abby Norton-Levering, another member of the clergy, led prayer for the clinic’s doctors and other employees, according to the Albany (N.Y.) Times Union. She said, “We pray that You will make this a place of safety and give a sense of sanctuary.”

She clearly was not thinking of the unborn children in what should be the sanctuaries of their mothers’ wombs.

Planned Parenthood is the country’s largest provider of abortions, recording more than 260,000 of the procedures in the most recent year for which statistics are available.

Meanwhile, Yale University medical students had an opportunity to perform simulated abortions in a demonstration sponsored by the Reproductive Rights Action League at Yale and Yale Medical Students for Choice.

Rasha Khoury of Medical Students for Choice seemed to try to downplay the gravity of the situation during a presentation to about 15 students but didn’t appear to pull it off.

“It’s not as scary as it seems. It’s just blood and mucus,” Khoury said of the unborn child’s remains after a suction abortion. “You’ll be able to see arms and stuff, but still just miniscule.

“Often times, women are crying and cursing and saying they’re going to hell,” she said, according to the Yale Daily News. “It may be a quick and easy medical procedure, but it definitely is a very involved social-medical procedure.”

Courts rule in favor of ‘Choose Life’ plates

Separate federal courts have boosted attempts to issue pro-life license plates in Arizona and Missouri.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 28 an Arizona commission abridged the First Amendment rights of a pro-life organization by rejecting its application for a specialty plate that bore the words “Choose Life.” On Jan. 23, a federal judge ordered Missouri officials to grant the request of Choose Life of Missouri for a license plate featuring the same phrase.

In both cases, the courts determined the states had not protected against discrimination based on viewpoint.

Arizona and Missouri rejected the “Choose Life” plates, even though they had approved applications by other organizations for specialty tags, according to the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), which represented the pro-lifers in both cases. An Arizona panel granted requests by such groups as the Fraternal Order of Police and the Wildlife Conservation Council. A Missouri committee approved applications from an autism foundation and a cattleman’s organization, among other groups, at the same hearing in which it turned down the Choose Life request.

“Pro-life advocates shouldn’t be discriminated against for their beliefs,” said Jeff Shafer, ADF’s senior legal counsel. The Ninth Circuit opinion reiterates “if the state opens the door for expression by a class of speakers, it may not then slam the door on those whose messages it prefers be kept from public view,” he said in a written release.

Further Learning

Learn more about: Life, Abortion, Citizenship, Church and State,

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