Opinion

Torturing animals is illegal. Torturing children in the womb? Not so much.

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There’s a few lines abortion advocates really seem to like. Among the more popular? “A fetus isn’t human.” When it comes to late-term abortion, I’m tempted to respond with a question.

So what?

For argument’s sake, let’s ignore basic biology and assume that a human sperm and egg could somehow produce a nonhuman animal. We still have laws against animal cruelty, and Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand’s research at the University of Tennessee suggests a fetus can feel pain by 20 weeks. If you think an abortion doesn’t sound painful, then listen to someone who used to perform them.

Abortions at 20 weeks typically involve a technique called dilation and evacuation (D&E). Dr. Anthony Levatino performed over 1200 abortions during his career, and in the following video, he describes what a D&E entails.

After the amniotic fluid is removed, the abortionist uses a sopher clamp — a grasping instrument with rows of sharp “teeth” — to grasp and pull the baby’s arms and legs, tearing the limbs from the child’s body. The abortionist continues to grasp intestines, spine, heart, lungs, and any other limbs or body parts. The most difficult part of the procedure is usually finding, grasping and crushing the baby’s head. After removing pieces of the child’s skull, the abortionist uses a curette to scrape the uterus and remove the placenta and any remaining parts of the baby.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton claims that late-term abortions are only done out of “medical necessity.” They’re not. Staff at Southwestern Women’s Options offered to perform a 27 week induction abortion for a woman who was “about a month off” in estimating her pregnancy. And unlike their supporters, they apparently have no doubts on whether a fetus is human: 2 minutes into the recording below, one of them refers to  “the baby” they’re planning to abort.

Gary Cross also wasn’t concerned about medical necessities when he asked Planned Parenthood to arrange a 20 week abortion for his 13 year-old stepdaughter–he was concerned about staying out of prison. Cross wanted to hide the fact he raped the girl after her mother noticed she was gaining weight; Planned Parenthood was able to accommodate.

The idea that animals should be protected from torture isn’t controversial. NFL star Michael Vicks spent 23 months in federal prison for running a dog fighting ring, and outrage followed after Vicks’ habit of drowning, hanging, and electrocuting animals came to light. When a baby can be dismembered without a similar response, something is clearly wrong.

You can help change that by backing legislation to restrict late-term abortion. You can also tell Congress that Planned Parenthood’s funding should go to federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and community health centers (CHCs) instead.

A century ago, the same activists tried to protect both animals and children from violence. The American Humane Association recounts the story of child abuse survivor Mary Ellen Wilson on its website, explaining that a concerned adult was advised to seek help for the girl from animal rights activists as she was “a little animal surely.” While I’m convinced that children aren’t animals, I agree that they deserve at least as much protection. It’s time that the law started providing it.

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