The Washington Post has a touching feature story in its lifestyle and parenting section, interviewing a husband and wife, along with the doctors who helped to save the lives of the couple’s unborn twins.
In March, the twins’ mother, 40-year-old Ebony, was 24 weeks pregnant and began to feel short of breath. It turned out that she had COVID-19, and the rest of the Post interview outlines how she ended up in the hospital for treatment, how doctors worked to keep her healthy, and how they ended up delivering her twins early in an emergency C-section, a decision that saved all three of their lives.
Several months later, the twins — Jurnee and Jordan — are at home with their parents, healthy and growing well, despite having been born at just over two pounds each and having spent several weeks intubated in the intensive-care unit. It’s a lovely example of how the capabilities of modern medicine continue to expand, enabling doctors to save lives in ways that were previously unthinkable.
Sharing the story, the Post’s Twitter account wrote, “A pregnant woman with covid-19 was dying. With one decision, her doctors saved three lives.”
Indeed they did. But in addition to celebrating this remarkable story, perhaps we should scrutinize how our society so cavalierly picks and chooses between which unborn lives are worth saving. Jurnee and Jordan, after all, were at about 25 weeks’ gestation when they were delivered, a stage at which they had only just become viable. Meanwhile, somewhere around 12,000 unborn children are killed by abortion each year in the U.S. after 20 weeks’ gestation — most often not, as abortion activists claim, for “health reasons.”
The reality of late-term abortion doesn’t negate the miraculous way that these two lives were saved, but it exposes the arbitrary logic of the abortion-rights argument, which applauds doctors for saving the lives of wanted unborn children while applauding others for taking the lives of those unborn children deemed unwanted. We are meant to believe that a mother’s fiat is the sole defining characteristic separating real human beings from meaningless clumps of cells.
We must accept that incoherent rationale in order to accept abortion. As much as proponents of legal abortion would like to preserve the right to kill the unborn without diminishing the value of every human life, they cannot. Permitting the devaluation of some unborn human beings for whatever reason — be it location, dependence, age, size, cognition — necessarily leads to the devaluation not only of all unborn children but of human beings outside the womb, too. In their cognitive dissonance, abortion supporters expose the fact that, in their view, a defenseless unborn child must live or die by the will of those who can exercise raw power over her.