The power of a picture
Last month, Weblog's author wrote an article on the power of images, especially relating to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. Now check out this powerful image: a 12-week-old unborn child walking in its mother's womb. The photo is from one of the new 3D/4D ultrasound scans, this one from the Create Health London Clinic, where Stuart Campbell is compiling the book Watch Me Grow. (Other photos and videos from Create Health are available here.)
Those images, combined with shocking statistics on the number of abortions being performed and updates on medical advances that have led to earlier viability of unborn babies, are leading the U.K. to reconsider its abortion laws. Earlier this week, the author of Britain's 1967 Abortion Act, David Steel, said the law was wrongly based upon the assumption that fetuses can't survive outside the womb before 28 weeks. "Since then," he wrote in The Guardian newspaper, "medical science has continued to advance, recording survivals at 22 weeks of pregnancy, and lurid publicity has been given to 'botched' late abortions." (In 1990, the Human Fertilization and Embryology Act prohibited abortion before 24 weeks. Pro-life activists had been pushing for a 22-week limit.)
He told the BBC, "I think people find it very repugnant to think you are getting close to the point where you are not dealing with a fetus but with the possibility of a baby." (The possibility of a baby? Considering the possibility of a baby is something people do before conception. Considering definitions of life and personhood is what's happening in this debate.)
Prime Minister Tony Blair has supported a review of the law. "I have not had an opportunity myself to study in detail the evidence that has been provided," ...1
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