There is in fact a major difference between human beings as fetuses and human beings as persons: human beings as persons are born. [. . .] Rights only exist within the context of a community where they have the potential to be realized and the possibility of being threatened. Birth is our universal entrance into any community. It is the point at which we are able to break away — literally — from the absolute dependency of our mothers. The fact of the matter is birth transforms us. It simultaneously makes us into individuals and members of a group, and thus embeds in us rights-bearing protections.
“individuals” or “members of a group” before birth? He never answers either question. It’s simply a case of saying it makes it so.
child’s right to life and a woman’s right to her body is by demarcating the moment of right-bearing at birth as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states.” This is not interdependence at all. It is simply declaring a winner, without considering which party has more at stake.
In an email exchange about the validity of this claim, Monica Lynn, SPL’s blog coordinator, responded that the group found the evidence conflicting, but that its president, Kelsey Hazzard — who has studied law, not medicine — believes that women should be informed of the “conflicting” nature of this evidence before an abortion.
Similarly, the research on abortion and psychological stress has shown that the phenomenon of PASS — Post Abortion Stress Syndrome — doesn’t exist either. Recently, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study from Danish researchers which confirmed that the majority of women who underwent an abortion in the first two trimesters were no more likely to seek out psychological counseling after their abortion than they were before. While
Lynn says the PASS label is problematic, SPL believes women should be informed of the possible psychological repercussions and their risks before having an
negative emotions after an abortion, particularly where risk factors like youth or ambivalence are present. (An extensive list can be found in the footnotes to this article.)
The new Virginia law requiring women to undergo an ultrasound prior to an abortion was designed by the organization Americans United for Life — another nonreligious pro-life group. According to Charmaine Yoest, CEO and president of Americans United for Life, the Virginia bill was necessary to protect women with ectopic pregnancies from the possibility of dying during a medication-induced abortion. Warnings like these are half-truths that only serve to whip up hysteria around the risks of abortion. An ultrasound before an abortion is a standard practice for most providers, and is an essential tool for helping determine gestational age, viability, and yes, the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy. However, doctors determine ultrasounds based on medical necessity — not ideology. In reality, the risk of a medication-induced abortion in the case of an ectopic pregnancy is phenomenally rare, and the possibility of the mother dying is even more remote.
When asked about the ultrasound requirement, Secular Pro-Life responded that doctors should not only be required to offer women an ultrasound twenty-four hours prior to an abortion, but they should also be required to explain the stages of fetal development with the women [sic] before she agrees to an abortion.
Rossi concludes by celebrating the fact that 25% of Americans support his view that abortion should be legal in all circumstances. He would also like to claim the 51% who support abortion in certain” circumstances, to create a pro-choice majority. That’s highly problematic, since “certain circumstances” would include people who only support abortion in cases where the mother’s life is in danger (such as myself). Rossi’s abortion-until-birth position– which, even accepting his favored studies, would allow for abortions on pain-capable unborn babies– is extreme. It will continue to fall out of favor as groups like Secular Pro-Life work to educate the public.