Should chance of survival dictate one’s right to life?

Cesare Santangelo

Where is the cutoff? Forty percent? Twenty percent? Ten?

Last week, Live Action released the second video in their latest investigative project, Inhuman. Late-term abortionist Cesare Santangelo, who works at the Washington Surgi-Clinic in Washington, D.C., is shown in the video. He had many memorable things to say, both in the edited and unedited version of this part of the investigation. In response to the videos, he says that he has not watched them because he considers pro-lifers terrorists.

Many have reacted strongest to Santangelo’s statement that for a hospital to attempt to save a baby born alive from an abortion is “the stupidest thing they could have done.”

Kristi Burton Brown’s article sums up many of the abortionist’s problematic statements, including when he told the 24-week-pregnant investigator that:

 … if you do everything possible to help it survive, you know, there’s a – maybe a 20-30% chance that it would survive. If you don’t do anything, then, you know, the chances are much, much less.

If that number sounds fishy, that’s because, as Kristi points out, while citing findings from a 2009 Swedish study, the chance is actually much higher. For the woman in question, being 24 weeks pregnant, 67% of babies born at that gestational age survive.

All these statistics are helpful, especially to show that Santangelo not only has a disregard for the unborn but that he presents false information for women, likely in order to close an abortion sale. Kristi ends her article with the mention of how Santangelo pressured the investigator into aborting, rather than telling her to “[t]ake your time, think about it, go home.” That’s something the abortionist actually says he would “hate to say.”

However, as useful as these statistics may be, one may wonder if they really even matter. Even if the investigator were 22 weeks pregnant, a gestational age where less than 10% of babies born survived, would that baby have any less of a right to life? Having a chance that’s in the single digits may not be much to hope on, but it’s not zero. And miracles can happen. That child deserves a chance at life whether he or she is born at 22 weeks or once the mother has reached full term.

While the United States erroneously fails to protect the right to life from conception, we can be thankful that there is the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. Thus, if a baby is born alive from an abortion, even at 22 weeks, when there is such a low chance of survival, he or she must be given medical care in an attempt to save his or her life. Santangelo is simply wrong. He is wrong to perform abortions to begin with, he is wrong to circumvent the law, and he is wrong to treat women and babies, born and pre-born alike, so callously.

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