Seventeen weeks earlier than expected and weighing a mere 13 ounces, Jaden Wesley Morrow was born on July 11, 2019, early in his mother’s 23rd week of pregnancy. Shocking doctors and defeating all medical odds, Jaden appears to be gaining strength in the NICU.
Babies are “premature” if born before the start of the mother’s 37th week of pregnancy and “very preterm” if born before the 32nd week. Being only 23 weeks old and “extremely preterm,” Jaden’s lungs, heart, and gastrointestinal tract are underdeveloped and susceptible to infections and other complications. Iowa Methodist Medical Centre professionals said that babies born that early, not being fully formed, often do not have full use of their limbs and often cannot breathe unassisted.
The 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade established a woman’s so-called “right to abortion.” Planned Parenthood v. Casey further enshrined the “right” and ruled that regulations on abortion cannot place “undue burden” on a mother seeking to abort a “nonviable fetus.” With required exceptions for cases of life and “health” of the mother (per Doe v. Bolton), a state can only regulate and prohibit abortion after fetal “viability” is reached, which is typically between 24 and 28 weeks. The standard of viability, as Jaden’s case proves, is entirely subjective and dependent on the quality of healthcare available to mother and child.
A third of U.S. states have successfully implemented 20-week abortion bans, and others, most notably Georgia and Alabama, have recently passed even earlier bans in hopes that the courts will challenge the law and the issue will be brought before the Supreme Court once again. However, despite the pro-life progress in recent months, abortion remains effectively legal close to and even past viability in many U.S. states.
Abortion advocates insist that we must always use the term “fetus” to describe the child in-utero. The word “fetus,” like the word “child,” does not describe the species of the clearly and scientifically verifiably living creature. Rather, it describes the level of development of that living creature. A baby is not an adult, but both babies and adults are humans. Likewise, a fetus is not a toddler, but both fetuses and toddlers are humans. Not all babies are fetuses. But all fetuses are babies. Level of development does not determine humanity.
It is obvious to anyone with eyes and a rational mind that baby Jaden is a human being, a member of the species Homo sapien. Yet, if Jaden were still in his mother’s womb, it would be effectively legal for her to pay an abortionist to kill him via violent dismemberment in most U.S. states. (The abortion technique most commonly used on babies Jaden’s age, in his mother’s second trimester, is a procedure called “dilation and evacuation,” in which the abortionist uses a clamp to rip the child’s limbs off one by one and, if the child’s head is too big to pull out whole, to crush the skull.) The choice to kill is the mother’s right, you see, because if Jaden was still in her womb, he wouldn’t be a baby — only a “fetus.”
But Jaden is a wanted child. “They said I was going to have to deliver in the next day or two and there was a good chance he wouldn’t survive,” his mother said about him. “That was the moment when I fell apart. I was heartbroken.” To his mother’s great relief, Jaden survived, but because he was highly susceptible to infection and stuck in the NICU, she was not allowed to touch her precious child for a week after he was born. He did, however, wiggle when he heard his mother’s voice, at barely 24 weeks old.
Unwanted children receive no such love, nor even enough sympathy for their mothers and lawmakers to deem them worthy of the right to not be murdered. They are not “children.” They are “fetuses.” Despite being human, they are deemed sub-human. Because they are developing, they are not “life” but “potential life.” They are revered when born and mourned when they pass on outside the womb, but thrown in medical waste-bins if they meet the ends of their short and precious lives in the name of their mother’s hallowed “choice.”