As many of you may know by now, the world’s youngest premature baby has survived and is doing well. According to ABC News:
Amillia Sonja Taylor, born Oct. 24 after just less than 22 weeks in the womb, will spend a few extra days in the hospital as a precaution.
Amillia, now a relatively robust 4½ pounds, was about to be released from Baptist Children’s Hospital in Florida, but today doctors unexpectedly decided to postpone her release.
A hospital spokeswoman told The Associated Press that she did not have details on why doctors had changed their minds about sending Amillia home.
On Monday, Amillia was between 25 and 26 inches long, doctors said. She was 9½ inches long and weighed 10 ounces at birth.
Amillia is the youngest surviving premature baby, born after just 21 weeks and six days in the womb.
The only known premature babies that have survived so young prior to her were all born at 23 weeks. The average pregnancy is between 37 weeks and 40 weeks long.
So what does this mean for abortion laws, the pro-choice, and pro-life crowds? The life of this child proves in my opinion without a shadow of a doubt that babies can survive being born WITHIN the first trimester.
Most abortion laws will not allow abortions after the first and some as late as the second trimester. Some will say that is because babies are nothing more than fetuses at this point. Pro-lifers have been saying all along that is not true. So who is right?
Personally, I have battled and walked the fence on this issue. I fundamentally believe that everybody has the God-given right of choice and free will. I believe that its next to sin to interfere with one’s choice. So for the most part I tend to be pro most things that people want to legally do that doesn’t infringe on the rights of others. I know, most Muslims will say I’m in error, but heh, Allah (swt) alone knows best.
I normally can retort to most things fast and firm, but this single issue has been a pain for me. When exactly does life start? Is a developing fetus an individual worthy of protection from others, or part of it’s mother to be developed or aborted at the whim of the mother? I’m of the understanding and belief that according to my religion (Islam duh) life begins when a child takes their first breath and the soul enters the body. Any Islamic scholar feel free to correct me. However, there is a catch 22 in Islam if that is true. According to my Janazah (Islamic funeral) book, one can conduct the Janazah prayer for children that die as young as 4 months within the womb, i.e. stillborn. To me, that means that life must begin earlier than birth and more importantly, according to Islamic law, a child is only a child after the first trimester, hence no Janazah within the first trimester. Now any Islamic scholar feel free to correct me.
Now if all this is true according to my understanding, it becomes quite clear why Im torn on the abortion issue. Up until I heard about this child I was content to not worry about the issue unless it was a “late term” abortion within the second trimester, prior to that, I was non-affected, because I believed that since there is no Janazah anyway, there really wasn’t a child to be concerned about.
So here we come full circle: We have this child born at a little over 21 weeks and is doing well. So what are we to think? What am I supposed to believe? Now don’t get me wrong, no matter how you slice it, I believe abortion is a horrible, irresponsible, and borderline sinful act, however I believe people have the right to sin, if they want. In other words, I believe that its not my job to concern myself with another’s sin, outside of council of course and those I personally know.
Back and forth, back and forth I know, but I believe this has to be addressed. Should we revisit our abortion laws, or abolish it all together? If a fetus is an individual life to what extent are we to protect it? Are we to protect the fetus to the extent of denying the rights of the mother or parents? What about women who are raped, have terminal illness, may die during childbirth, etc.?
If I had to choose a position, I would probably be between the pro-life and pro-choice crowds, but that shouldn’t surprise my readers by now, should it? Did I mention I was a Libra. 🙂 (I know, Islamically, that’s a no no…)