Actually, I’m lying; Danielle Deaver legally no choice but to deliver a baby that was certain to die.
Danielle Deaver cradled her daughter, knowing the newborn’s gasps would slowly subside, and the baby would die.
Through tear-blurred eyes, she looked her daughter over for physical defects.
Deaver, 34, of Grand Island, Neb., wanted to see something, anything to validate the news doctors delivered eight days before: Her baby had virtually no chance of survival. And if she lived, she would be severely disabled.
What Deaver saw was perfection: A tiny but beautiful child. Ten toes. Ten fingers. Long eyelashes.
Her baby tried desperately to inhale.
With her husband, Robb, at her side, Deaver sobbed, gently kissing her daughter’s forehead and hoping her baby wasn’t in pain. That fear – that the baby would suffer before its predestined death – compelled the couple to seek an abortion. But a new Nebraska law that limits abortion after the 20th week of gestation prevented her from getting one.
Try to overlook the ham-handed attempt on the reporter’s part to make this more troubling than it is and just consider the facts. Nebraska is the only state in the U.S. that currently defines 20 weeks as the threshold for “late term.” Under state law, this woman could only have gotten an abortion if her life or physical health was in danger. The fact that the baby stood no chance of survival in the judgment of everyone present is immaterial, because these laws are not predicated on medical realities or–like the “pro-life” movement itself–rooted in any kind of sense or human decency whatsoever. They are nothing more than efforts by benighted, undereducated and brainwashed people to shove current laws back in the direction of making abortion illegal across the board.
Aborting a still-living fetus at 23 weeks is not pretty, but it is legal everywhere in the U.S. besides Nebraska. As devastating as the whole thing is, an abortion in cases like this is functionally no different from taking someone like Terri Schiavo off life support, with the life support system in this case being a person rather than machines, and a move the same benighted whiz kids of course oppose roundly and with an equal lack of intellectual engagement.