The Spectacle Blog

Abortion Survivors?

By on 11.28.05 | 3:42PM

Yesterday the Sunday Times brought attention to the tragic fact that about 50 babies are born in Britain each year due to failed abortions. The likelihood of a baby’s survival increases with every week of gestation. Medical experts are now suggesting Britain no longer allow abortions beyond 18 weeks (6 weeks lower than its current 24 weeks) to avoid the risk of child survival.

The article also notes that it is not a crime when a fetus is successfully aborted inside the womb. But when the abortion fails and the child dies due to complications outside the womb, it is punishable as murder. Incidents like this highlight the grisly standard of when it is lawfully acceptable to terminate a life: only so long as it is inside a mother's womb. But should location of the body at the time of death be sufficient to determine what makes or doesn't make the act homicidal?

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