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Becoming Human Sooner?
by Michael R. Bowen, M.D.
29 December 2003Stop racism but murder babies

Joe Lieberman's "rethinking" of Roe v. Wade is chilling in several ways.

People are always commenting how kids are growing up faster and faster these days.  Last week presidential candidate Joe Lieberman let us know that this process begins before birth.

"Lieberman says it's time to rethink Roe vs. Wade," said the headline.  Sounded promising, almost believable, given Lieberman's reputation for integrity and religious faith.  But the letdown wasn't long in coming.  Lieberman explained that advances in medical science are pushing back to earlier and earlier stages the point at which a baby in utero (fetus, to you Democrats) can be sustained outside the womb.  This means, said Lieberman, that what we once thought of as "early" abortions, in the beginning of the first trimester, before viability, really aren't as early as we thought, and that it may be time to abandon Roe's trimester-based division of abortions into "early" (good) and "late" (bad).

No doubt, Lieberman thought he was practicing his vaunted Thoughtfulness and Integrity.  But it's hard to think of a more chilling statement than the one he gave the papers.  Chilling in several ways, in fact.  For he was telling us that the point at which a baby becomes human is not determined by any law, by any human right, by any rudiment of morality: it is purely determined by what level of medical skill we have at the moment.  And he was acknowledging, albeit unintentionally, that we have been killing humans all along.  The nature of babies has not changed; only how well we can (or will) take care of them.  And, most chilling of all, Sen. Lieberman seemed completely unaware that he was pulling aside the pretty veil of Choice, exposing the bloody mess behind.  Blissfully ignorant of the heinousness of the idea, he was calmly discussing how we can select the point in time when babies begin to have human rights.

Today we laugh at the medieval theologians' debate about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin.  But the joke is on us moderns.  The abortion lobby makes pretzels of themselves, trying to draw distinctions which cannot be made.  Distinctions such as when a baby is too old to kill, and who may decide to kill it, and when to stop calling it a fetus and begin calling it a baby.  Sophistries like wanting abortion to be "safe, legal, freely available, but rare."  Evasions, euphemisms, circumlocutions, and half-truths like calling partial-birth abortion "very late-term abortion," or even "so-called" partial birth abortion.

When the advocates of an action won't call it by its plain name, you may be sure that it is ugly and wrong, and that they know it.  Abortion is the Democrats' Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name, but since they can't stop talking about it, we are left with the spectacle of Joe Lieberman debating how many fetuses can dance on the head of a laboratory pipette.  Meanwhile, we can take some consolation in looking up from the paper to see our own children, and knowing that they've been human longer than Joe thought.

Michael R. Bowen practices Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine, and has a weekly column on America's Voices

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