Democrat and 2020 contender for president Beto O’Rourke would not decry late-term abortion in a campaign event on Monday. His language, while unclear, made his stance apparent: life in the womb is not deserving of defense at any stage.
O’Rourke deflected the initial question. He turned a question about morality into an issue of trust, stating, “The question is about abortion and reproductive rights and my answer to you is that should be a decision that the woman makes. I trust her.”
The problem here is that abortion is not about trust. Pro-lifers do not stake their argument on women’s incompetency to make a decision, or to be responsible, for that matter. If female irresponsibility was the accusation, then pro-lifers would be hypocritical in calling for women to carry a baby to full-term.
On the contrary, it is irresponsible to paint this issue as one of trust.
Regardless, Democrats have made abortion — yes, even third-trimester abortions despite the fact that the majority of Americans do not agree with such a practice — an issue of “reproductive rights.” O’Rourke’s insinuation that pro-lifers do not trust women is certainly not unique.
But, as the National Review’s Alexandra DeSanctis so accurately notes, Democrats are having a more difficult time condemning abortion at any point in pregnancy because it would force them to “draw lines on fetal personhood and abortion rights.” Especially because drawing the line at, say, the third trimester would lead to thorny questions like why a baby one day before the third trimester can be eliminated but is protected the next.
The bottom line: the pro-life stance is about ethics and morality in the context of biological fact. To claim otherwise is grossly misleading.
Late-term abortions stand against basic scientific reality. While there are a host of scientific and medical reasons, here are five of them:
By seven months, babies respond to stimuli — “sound, pain, and light.”
A child born at seven months’ chance of survival is “likely”
By week 30, the baby’s nervous system is developed enough to control some body functions
After week 31, the baby’s bones are fully developed
Toward the end of the third trimester, the baby even has definite sleeping patterns