To the editors:
In the June 29th Letters, Helen Redmond takes Karen Hoffman Nolan to task for recognizing the validity of points on both sides of the abortion issue. Redmond concludes that abortion is not murder since "a fetus is not a human life." With this unsupported opinion, she apparently hopes to justify her view over that of the pro-life "bible thumping lunatics" she condemns. It is unfortunate many people are not aware of the scientific evidence for the fetus being a human life from conception, since facts, rather than religious or philosophical beliefs, should be the basis for human rights laws. Abortion, an issue about the rights of women AND the unborn, will never be settled by ignoring evidence on behalf of the unborn.
At six weeks, brain waves and a heartbeat are detectable. At eight weeks, there is swimming in a coordinated motion in the amniotic fluid and a neural path that reacts to pain! While a person is declared legally dead if brain waves cease, a baby is not protected as a legal person until born. All organs are functioning and a baby can hear after 11 to 12 weeks. Forty years ago, babies were not viable outside the womb before 30 weeks; today, babies have survived at 21 weeks from the last menstrual period. All that has changed is our sophistication in life support systems, so viability cannot be used to judge a baby's humanity. In-vitro fertilization has proven that all human qualities are determined at conception, e.g., an egg fertilized by black parents and implanted in a white mother's womb would result in a baby with the genetic characteristics of the black parents. At conception, a new being exists with its own genetic makeup, needing only food and time to grow into an adult human.
Women's rights must be protected, but there must be equal protection under the law for all humans. Today, we discriminate against the unborn. The 1857 Dred Scott decision declared blacks to be property, not legal people. Abolitionists were told that they didn't have to own slaves, and shouldn't force their morality on slaveowners. The same argument is used today by pro-abortionists, leading to 99% of the 1,550,000 annual U.S. abortions being done for economic/social/birth control reasons, while only 1% involve rape, fetal distress, or saving the mother's life. There are, indeed, two sides to this issue, and I applaud Ms. Nolan for having the courage to state it, as unpopular as that may appear to pro-choice rationalizers.
David S. Homiak