The Viability Fallacy

The Viability Fallacy

Gaze and wonder at the the chart pushed by the New York Times to explain the abortion laws of each state. An abbreviated version heads the post.

The graphic is divided into the three trimesters, and lists the weeks 24-28 as “Fetus at viability (Roe standard)”. Roe was the woman who lied about a rape, and whose name is attached to the Supreme Court decision that allows women to kill lives inside them.

Anyway, the newspaper is for killing, while states like Alabama are against it.

Missouri passed a bill on Friday to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, making the state the eighth this year to pass abortion restrictions that could challenge the constitutional right established in Roe v. Wade. Earlier this week, Alabama legislators voted to ban abortions in nearly all cases…

Most other states follow the standard set by the Supreme Court’s Roe decision in 1973, which says abortion is legal until the fetus reaches viability, usually at 24 to 28 weeks.

Viability is euphemism which means the point at which the life inside the would-be mother becomes human. The day, the hour, the minute, the second before viability and the life is a “fetus”. At the very moment viability is reached, the life becomes human. Alakazam!

The word also refers to the time at which if the life is removed from the mother, it could survive on its own—as a human being—where “on its own” is taken to mean “possibly with the assistance of various machinery.” The NICU, i.e. the neonatal intensive care unit, is full of such marvels.

Heartbeat bills are also viability bills, in a way. They too seek to define the bit of magic that turns the life from a fetus into a human being. But these bills are also political compromises, where those against killing are doing their best to stop it in a political environment that is still hostile to the idea of not killing.

Now viability is a curious definition for what turns the life into a human being. Obviously, an unstated premise is that killing an innocent human being is homicide. Killing the life before viability is like killing a chicken, killing it after viability is like murder.

Enter the Viability Fallacy. Medical science at Julius Caesar’s time was in its infancy (link). When he was cut out of his mother, he lived, though the Romans could have cut his throat, saving themselves future grief and glory, and likely not thought too much of it. Well, now, as the NYT has indicated, we can cut babies out at, say, 24 weeks, and they’ll live if properly cared for.

Yet as the machinery improves, the week at which viability is reached will grow smaller. It will be 23 weeks next year, 22 the year after, and so on. Why, we even read reports of the capability of babies grown à la Logan’s Run; i.e. completely from scratch in “test tubes”.

Which means viability will soon converge to the proper metaphysical view, which is to say, at conception. That the lives can be made and grown entirely outside mothers, or so they say, guarantees that killing them at any stage is homicide. This follows from assuming it is viability which is the magic that transform the life into a human being.

Two things follow from this. In less mechanically minded societies, say Chad, viability remains as it was in Caesar’s time, so the lives inside women may be killed there until birth. Perhaps a tourist market in killing will develop, as anchor babies do for immigration.

The second is that since it is clear viability will advance to 0 weeks, i.e. conception, thus it is absurd to view viability as the magic that transform the life into a human being. The definition of what is human cannot be contingent on technology, for this is absurd.

Thus, human life begins at conception, and the killing of these lives inside woman is indeed homicide.

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  1. Brian (bulaoren)

    Doesn’t “Roe” mean delicious little eggs?

  2. Exring

    I was an Intern at U of C (Chicago) Lying-In Hospital when the law changed in IL. The problem was that we saw women die from “Back Street Abortions” in many grotesque ways until the beginning of 1973 and that all changed. Fast forward to now. The tragedy of this issue is unsolvable. I have made a 180° change in my opinion. There is NO way to seek a middle ground on the issue and what has been passed in NY and VA is the “Murder of a Child”. The mother is psychologically equipped to “care for a child” (within the limits of a Gaussian Distribution). The dilemma of rape and incest are always going to be an emotional problem. I see this issue as the “Perfect Storm” and so emotional as to never arrive at a solution. Ideally, we should rejoice over every new soul brought to us and nurture it in an effort to get the best nature has to offer. Unfortunately, that same Gaussian Distribution will give us Psychopaths and Perpetual Victims to deal with and we cannot agree on how to do that, at this point… So, How many angels can dance on the head of a pin”?

  3. Sheri

    “Alakazam!” Exactly. All attempts to explain why abortion is not homicide is based on magic, 100%. But it’s politically correct magic, so idiots buy it….

  4. Yes, sir!

    The moral struggle of our time.

    Are you for defending helpless humans?

    Or for slaughtering them?

  5. When does human life begin? At conception, where it has always been such. Abortion is, by definition, homicide. The question is: “When is this form of homicide justifiable?”, and like the same elsewhere, when it is in defense of that person’s own life or another’s and neither of them initiated the violence. So, when the life of mother is at stake and delivery can’t save either the mother and the baby, works. Exceptions for rape or incest? Much more problematic, though many do allow that. Still, some of the women who lived that experience don’t want their babies killed. Did women die from self-induced and/or third party induced abortions prior to 1973? Yes, though not nearly as many as some said. Do ‘medical’ abortions kill women? Yes. They definitely kill babies.

    Fetus, by the way, is Latin. Baby is English. Both mean the same thing.

  6. Milton Hathaway

    When do the Murdercrats believe human life begins? Near as I can tell, they believe human life begins the moment the mother wants the baby to live after it has been born. Before the baby is born, its human when the mother wants it and a tissue mass when she doesn’t, ala Schrödinger’s cat.

    If “Choice” is defined as one person having sole power to decide when another person lives or dies, then please put me down as “Anti-Choice”.

  7. Ky-el

    This is well said. I can follow the logic of the pro-life conviction, abortion is murder, full-stop. But with pro-choice they are all over the place. Some might think none are murder which is ridiculous. Or that at some arbitrary point it is murder. However I had not fully conceived the idea that viability is a function of technology, and that metric is ever-changing.

  8. JDaveF

    The age of fetal viability today is not the same as it was in 1970, when Roe v. Wade was heard. At that time it was thought babies delivered under 25 weeks should be left alone, as there was zero chance of survival. 21 weeks 1 day is the current record, and its pretty routine to keep babies 25 weeks and older alive in American neonatal intensive care units.

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