A new study has found that a small number of very premature babies are surviving earlier outside the womb than doctors ever thought possible, according to a recent report in the New York Times—impacting the abortion debate in America and right to life efforts across the nation.
The study, published last week in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that some babies born at 22 weeks who received special treatment survived with few health problems. According to the article, leading medical groups had already been discussing whether to lower the consensus on the age of viability, now cited by most medical experts as 24 weeks.
Meeke Addison, Director of Communications for Urban Family Communications (UFC, www.urbanfamilytalk.com), a division of the American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net), says this is further evidence of abortion’s devastating impact.
“Abortion is a devastating choice,” Addison said, “especially when we as imperfect human beings authorize ourselves to determine when babies should live and when they shouldn’t—and even when they become ‘human.’ Now, medical studies tell us that these precious little lives are indeed viable at an earlier and earlier age. What does this mean for the babies that have been aborted between 22 and 24 weeks? Might even those who are pro-abortion now realize that these babies’ lives were taken from them after viability? For years, we’ve seen abortion’s victims—not only in the unborn babies but also in the mothers, fathers and families impacted. When will society stop propagating a lie and start telling the truth that abortion not only kills one but wounds many more?”
The New York Times further reported, “The Supreme Court has said that states must allow abortion if a fetus is not viable outside the womb, and changing that standard could therefore raise questions about when abortion is legal.” The National Right to Life estimates that 56 million babies have lost their lives as a result of abortion since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
Addison also noted that for years, scientific advancements have provided more and more proof of the personhood of the unborn, including 4D ultrasounds showing babies in utero expressing emotions.
“This study will be a breakthrough in the fight for life,” Addison continued, “as it entirely upends any argument that 24 weeks marks the stage of viability—and the measure of life—for the unborn.”
The study in The New England Journal of Medicine considered 78 babies who were born at 22 weeks and given medical intervention, out of 5,000 babies born early—between 22 and 27 weeks. Of those 78 babies, 18 survived. By the time they were toddlers, seven did not have moderate or severe impairments. Six had problems such as blindness, deafness or severe cerebral palsy. Of 755 babies born at 23 weeks, treatment was given to 542. About a third survived, and about half of the survivors had no significant problems.
These new studies and their results serve only to confirm what Bible-believing Christians have already known, life is precious and its value comes directly from Creator, God. It’s nice to see science finally catch up. Christians everywhere should not only be encouraged by these findings but rallied to action to protect innocent babies. We can’t do much about the millions of babies we’ve lost in this fight to protect life but we can work to insure there is no more senseless violence against babies who, if given the chance, can live and thrive.