While the murder trial of abortion provider Dr. Kermit Gosnell is receiving a little more national media attention than when the trial began, the press is still missing the point of the story. Abortion is not an issue of the cleanliness of the clinic or the safety of the women undergoing the abortion or the qualifications of the people assisting Dr. Gosnell in performing abortions. It is the issue of basic humanity.
It hasn’t been too difficult to read or watch news reports about Dr. Gosnell’s trial because there haven’t been that many of them. However, what I have read went into detail about how unsanitary his clinic was and how that affected women who had come to the clinic for abortions. Some reports also included testimony of clinic employees about how many aborted babies were killed by the doctor and assistants when the babies did not die during the “procedure.” They seemed surprised that the “fetuses” looked so human. Again, journalists are missing the point of the story.
What makes a human “human”? The same thing that makes a dog a “dog” and a cat a “cat”. Part of the answer is DNA – deoxyribonucleic acid – the genetic code that determines the “kind” of living organism. I don’t have to wait until an organism is “born” or “hatched” to know what it is. I can know from looking at the “parent” and by taking a DNA sample from the unborn (unhatched) organism.
Paternity testing is a growing business in our country. Women who have multiple sex partners and get pregnant often want to know which man is the father. As the American Pregnancy Association explains – “Different reasons to establish paternity include the need to collect support financially or emotionally, or simply for the peace of mind that accompanies knowing for sure.”
One thing we learn from DNA testing to determine paternity is that the DNA of the unborn child is not identical to the mother’s DNA. The unborn’s DNA is a combination of the mother’s DNA and the father’s DNA. Why is that important? Because it proves that the unborn child is not just another “part” of the mother and not a “parasite” in the mother. Those are a couple of the arguments put forward by pro-choice/pro-abortionists. However, modern DNA testing has proven that they’re wrong. The DNA of an unborn child proves they are a combination of the DNA of two other “human beings,” thus making them a third and separate human being.
The next question is – “when does the unborn become human”? DNA testing can begin as early as 10 weeks with CVS (chorionic villus sampling) and as early as 11 weeks with amniocentesis (though usually tested between 14 and 20 weeks). A new non-invasive prenatal test known as SNP Microarry can be done on a mother as early as 9 weeks pregnant and the test has been confirmed 99.9% accurate using a very small amount of DNA. Those 9, 10 and 11 weeks are still within the first trimester of pregnancy when abortions are legal.
[Based on what medical science has discovered so far, I believe that more sophisticated DNA testing in the future will confirm that unborn babies are human from conception when the DNA of the father joins with the DNA of the mother to begin a new life that is separate of either the mother or father’s lives.]
Think about that for a minute. Current DNA testing can determine the identity of the human father of an unborn child at the same time it is legal to kill that child. Medical science has now proven that unborn “fetuses” in the first trimester of pregnancy are human! Shouldn’t that move press coverage of legal abortion into a new arena? Why aren’t reporters covering the Gosnell trial reporting about that?
If I see a pregnant dog, my first thought is that the dog will give birth to puppies. I can verify that assumption by drawing a DNA sample from the unborn “organism.” If I see a hen sitting on an egg, my first thought is that the “life” inside the egg is a baby chick. To make certain of my assumption I could draw a DNA sample and confirm, but I’ve seen thousands of eggs hatch at a hatchery and everyone of them had a baby chick inside. If I see a pregnant woman, my first thought is that she will give birth to a human being. I can verify that assumption by drawing a DNA sample from the unborn “organism.” I can also verify that through experience having seen human babies born to women.
The scientific community uses words like “embryo” and “fetus” to describe the stages of human growth inside the mother. Why not call it a “baby” or “child”? Isn’t that what’s growing inside the human mother? a human being? If a human mother gives birth to her “fetus,” won’t it be a “human” baby? We don’t call birthed babies fetuses; we call them children. Why is an unborn “child” not human until he/she is born? Would the unborn child be something other than human if allowed to be born?
Some of my co-workers in journalism through the years experienced miscarriages. Each one of the women believed they were the “mother” of the baby. The husbands of the women believed they were the “father” of the baby. They wept as they talked about losing their “child.” Was all of that just in their minds? or were they really parents of a human child who had died? DNA tests would determine that the children were in fact “human,” though born during the second trimester – still within the legal time for performing an abortion.
One of my friends called me about his pregnant wife going into the emergency room. She was only in the second trimester of her pregnancy. By the time I arrived at the hospital, she had given birth to a little boy. He passed away in her arms. We talked and prayed and cried for more than an hour, each one of us holding the little baby in a small blanket. He was a human being. He weighed less than two pounds, smaller than many aborted babies, but there was no question that what I held in my arms was a human being. Little hands and fingers, feet and toes. Little arms and legs. Little ears, eyes, nose and mouth. Hair on his head. He was human – as human as you and me. The mother and father named their little baby boy and buried him in a cemetery. Why? Because he was their child – their human child.
My concern as a career journalist is that journalism has failed the very people our Constitution calls us to serve.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 1791
Journalists do have a high calling as part of the intent of the founders of our country to help preserve freedom through honest reporting of facts. Journalists do not have to “like” the facts of a story, but they must report the facts. While the press and news media in the United States have done a great service to the people through the years, the coverage of abortion is not one of them.