We hear sometimes from pro abortion types that fetuses are nothing of moral note until they are born—and sometimes not even then, e.g. personhood theory.  We are sometimes told that during prenatal care, only the mothers are patients.  Yet, a story just came out about life saving prenatal surgery.  From the CBS Miami story, “World’s First of It’s Kind Surgery Saves Miami Girl’s Life:”

To see 20-month old Lyna Gonzalez, you would think she’s just like every other toddler at that age – vibrant and energetic. “She’s perfectly normal, thank God,” said mother Tammy. But it wasn’t always that way. During her pregnancy, Gonzalez’s doctors discovered a benign tumor the size of a tennis ball growing on her unborn baby’s mouth. Doctors told Tammy there was little chance her daughter would survive birth – and if she did, she would require an immediate tracheotomy in order to breath and have multiple surgeries thereafter.

Ah, not a “fetus,” not a collection of tissues, not a parasite, but an “unborn baby.”  Back to the story:
After a lot research and heart ache, Tammy sought help from University of Miami/Jackson Memorial fetal surgeon Ruben Quintero. Quintero, a pioneer in fetal medicine, has treated many birth defects and high risk conditions while the baby is still in the womb. “The concern with these tumors is they grow very rapidly, the cause bleeding which leads to the death of the baby,” said Quintero. In May 2010, Quintero and Dr. Eftichia Kontopoulos operated on Tammy’s baby in utero. Using an endoscope guided by ultrasound they performed a first of its kind surgery and removed the tumor from the fetus’ mouth.

Now, who was the patient in that surgery; The gestating baby or the mother?  The baby!  And that is also true in other forms of prenatal care, in which both mother and child can be properly considered patients.  In other words, fetus’s are human beings too and we should not let abortion ideology deflect us from this fact.

Articles by Wesley J. Smith

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