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Fact Check Friday- “It's Not a Real Baby Until Later on in the Pregnancy"

This weeks claim...

“It's not really a baby until later in the pregnancy.”


What They Say.

"It's not a baby, it's only a fetus."

"No one knows when life begins."

"The baby is simply a part of a woman's body."

"Even if it is genetically human, it is not necessarily at the point of personhood."

You have probably heard one or more of these common claims made to justify abortion, especially in the second and third trimester. Since "personhood" implies protection, states struggle to find the right date or "cut off" point or litmus test for personhood and our state is no different.


In Pennsylvania, most abortions (more than 80%) happen in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. But abortions are legal for any reason until the start of the third trimester, 23.6 weeks. Let's not be fooled by the word "weeks." Do the math: 23 weeks is the start of the 6th month of pregnancy when the baby is actually viable outside the womb.


We're delighted to welcome a guest blogger, Alexis Sneller, Policy Analyst from Pennsylvania Family Institute who gives a personal perspective on the PA arbitrary abortion restriction at 6 months.


My Baby is Finally Safe. From Guest Blogger, Alexis Sneller

As a soon-to-be first-time mom who is six months pregnant, you can imagine that quite a bit of my mental real estate is taken up with thoughts about my baby: “Is he okay? What will he look like? What will his personality be like? How can a baby kick in such an adorable way??” 

But there’s been one thought in particular lately that keeps coming up: My baby is finally safe now. If you don’t have a job like mine, this probably seems like an odd thought. After all, you may say, isn’t a mother’s womb the safest place for your baby? Isn’t it the perfect place for your baby to be nourished, protected, and grow?


Not always, not in Pennsylvania. 


You see, in Pennsylvania, a woman can legally have an abortion for any reason until almost six months of your pregnancy (23 weeks and six days, to be exact). Even before I became pregnant, I knew that this was wrong and extreme. In fact, the United States is only one of seven countries in the world, including North Korea (not a shining beacon for human rights), that allow abortions that far along. But this fact has struck me differently and in an even more disturbing way as I experience my own pregnancy. I just recently hit the six-month mark. For at least a month beforehand, I could feel my baby moving around - so much so that even my husband could feel our baby moving. I learned that my baby is a sweet boy. His little heart has already beat well over 20 million times and circulates about 55 quarts of blood per day. My baby had been listening to my voice for weeks before he reached six months. 


All of these things were true, and I still could have gone out and gotten an abortion if I wanted one. It makes me sick to even type that out. “Abortion” feels like too sanitized of a word for such a barbaric action. Abortion either starves a baby to death, poisons them, or violently rips them apart. Live Action has some very hard-to-watch but important videos from former abortionists on what exactly happens in an abortion. Abortion is horrific. 


Possibly even more horrific and so shocking that many simply do not believe that (or choose not to), is the fact that the abortion industry and their loyal legislators are continually pushing for the removal of the few protections for life that we do have. In this legislative session alone, there have been at least 30 bills introduced to expand abortion far beyond our current laws, to remove health and safety regulations on abortion facilities, and to force taxpayers to pay for abortions.

And as I feel both the horror that in Pennsylvania it is legal to have had an abortion for the first six months of my pregnancy, and the relief that my baby is finally safe now under our barbaric laws, please don’t think that my baby’s life was any less valuable early on. 

From the moment of conception, our baby had all of his DNA there, all of the information he needed for his precious body to form. From the moment of conception, he was a perfect testimony to God’s miraculous design for life. From the moment of conception, God was already knitting him together in my womb, sustaining and protecting both of us. What a gift. 


My baby is finally considered safe under Pennsylvania law, even though I always wanted him to be safe with me. I pray that God would protect every unborn baby here in Pennsylvania and across our country. That hearts would break over abortion and be softened to protect life. 

We won’t stop working towards that until it is true. 


P.S. I want to reach out to all the post-abortive women reading this. I am so sorry. Seeing how much abortion hurt my own mom is one of the things that makes me so fiercely pro-life. Please, please know that there is forgiveness, healing, and redemption found in Christ. You do not have to walk with this burden alone, not for a day longer. I encourage you to reach out to Surrendering the Secret or to the Network of Life's Breathe program for support and resources to help you process and heal from your abortion. 


Alexis Sneller, Policy Analyst, PA Family Institute


Key Take-Aways

  1. At the moment of conception, all of the DNA is intact and present to form a unique separate human being. This newly formed person is dependent on but not part of the mother's body. The baby has her own distinct genetic code and may even have a different blood type than her mother’s.

  2. Over 4,000 abortions were performed in the second trimester in PA in 2022. Nearly 1,200 of those babies were aborted later than 18 weeks (4.5 months).

  3. At this critical trimester, the baby's bones are hardening, they can feel pain and hear sounds. The baby can suck his thumb and begins to kick hard enough to be felt by his mom.

  4. At 20 weeks (or 5 months), the baby is about 10 inches long. At 23 weeks, the baby is viable outside the womb.

  5. Abortion in the second trimester is more dangerous for mothers and uses dilation and evacuation leading to a horrific death for the unborn child.


Take It to Prayer

Pray for women who feel that abortion is their only choice--even at the late stages of pregnancy. Pray that they see our advertising and call our centers. 


Pray for those thousands of women who have suffered an abortion. Pray that they would visit our Breathe program and find healing and restoration. 


Pray for our city, our state and our nation that is sadly welcoming a culture of death. Pray for our leaders to learn the truth about second trimester abortion and promote common sense restrictions and alternatives.


Pray that Pittsburgh could become a sanctuary city for life! 


If you feel called to pray for the Network of Life subscribe to The Road Crew. Each week we pray for God to clear the paths to our centers, remove the obstacles, and open highways for women that will lead them to our doors and point them to Christ.

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