By Mary E. Williams
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Extra info for Abortion: opposing viewpoints
Emergency Abortions When the bishops launched the campaign against “partial birth abortions,” they did not take into account that such late-term emergency abortions were performed on women who wanted a baby, many of them Catholics opposed to abortion. There are numerous case studies of such abortions, medically known as dilation and extraction (D & X), but one must suffice here: Coreen Costello from Agoura, California, in April 1995 was pregnant with her third child. She and her husband found out that a lethal neuromuscular disease had left their much-wanted daughter unable to survive.
Suddenly the Pro-Choice defender is at a loss for words to describe what he or she knows innately. We know it because we lived it. We know we have no memory of selfawareness before our first birthday, or even before our second. But we also quickly become aware of the “problem” we create if we say a human doesn’t become a person until well after its birth. And we end up saying nothing. The antiabortionist then takes this inability to verbalize the nature of personhood as proof of their claim that a human is a person at conception.
If we consider what it is rather than what it might become, we must acknowledge that the embryo under three months is something far more primitive than a frog or a fish. To compare it to an infant is ludicrous. . That tiny growth, that mass of protoplasm, exists as a part of a woman’s body. It is not an independently existing, biologically formed organism, let alone a person. That which lives within the body of another can claim no right against its host. Rights belong only to individuals, not to collectives or to parts of an individual.
Abortion: opposing viewpoints by Mary E. Williams