Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Viability Lie

In Roe v. Wade, Justice Blackmun defines viability as "the point at which the fetus...is potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid." Some confused people--I used to be like this--think the Court somehow means viability is an important point in the life of the baby. We assume from this language that abortions of viable infants can be outlawed, and doctors will be prosecuted if they kill viable infants.

All that is wrong, which is why you never see prosecutions of doctors for killing unborn infants. Doesn't happen.

Imagine trying to criminalize abortions after viability. How do you prosecute somebody for killing a baby who might be able to live outside the mother's womb "potentially"? I guess you could put another doctor on the stand. "I could have kept that baby alive."

Imagine this prosecution. I mean, proving the doctor killed the kid is easy. After all, he's sucking the baby's brains out with a straw. But how do you prove that the doctor could maybe have kept the kid alive, if he had made an attempt to do so? All of a sudden you have to prove some hypothetical with a doctor with the right mindset and the right equipment.

Here's a hypo: there's a baby who is in critical condition. He's an incubator, he might die, it's touch and go. And doctor A tells the parents, "I don't know. Chances are against him, but we're trying." Meanwhile, doctor B goes into the operating room and takes a look at the kid. And he says, "He's not viable." So he shoots the baby with an Uzi.

It's relatively easy proving doctor B murdered the baby. Cause he shot him. But how the hell can you prosecute doctor B, if first you have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that doctor A could have saved the baby's life? All of a sudden you're speculating about medical ability and survival rates.

The viability doctrine, as Blackmun explains it, is either completely incompetent, or designed to foreclose any and all criminal prosecutions of abortionists, or both. It's why you never see abortionists on trial for killing a baby. Not because no babies are dying, but because the viability doctrine is a fog and cloud designed to let abortionists get away with whatever they decide to do.

Viability, under Supreme Court doctrine, is a hypothetical. Abortionists do not have an incubator in their clinics, for the same reason they do not have bottles of milk. They are not obstetricians. They are not in the business of delivering healthy, live babies. In an abortionist clinic, there is no doctor A, trying everything he can do to keep the baby alive. There is only doctor B, forming an opinion that the baby could not survive, and then killing the baby to make sure of it.

As Justice Blackmun writes in Planned Parenthood v. Danforth, "the determination of whether a particular fetus is viable is, and must be, a matter for the judgment of the responsible attending physician." The difference between constitutional right and criminal prosecution--the viability of the unborn--is defined by the guy you are trying to prosecute. Good luck with that. "In my medical opinion, that baby was not viable."

Can anybody prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that this was not the case? And why bother trying, since the Supreme Court has declared that even viable infants may be killed for "health" reasons. And again, this too is defined by the doctor, and only the doctor. You want an abortion in the ninth month? Do you have a note from your doctor?

If you think life begins at conception, at heartbeat, at voluntary movement, at EEG, at quickening, even at viability, then we are killing babies. Only if you think life begins at birth can you say we are not. By dehumanizing infants until birth, and then allowing doctors wide latitude to do abortions until birth, the upshot is that the Supreme Court says it is right to do abortions, even in the ninth month, if a mother can find a doctor willing to do them.

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