The hypothetical year is 2073. On January 22, Dr. I. N. Stein calls a press conference to make an announcement that causes a firestorm of contraversy across the United States.
Dr. Stein has been running an OB/GYN clinic for almost 20 years now. As far as clinics go, it’s fairly typical. Clean, professional, and yet completely sterile. For the past 10 years, he’s been helping women end their unwanted pregnancies, specializing in early term pregnacies.
But on January 22, that all changes. Dr. Stein’s announcement was this. His patented suction pregnancy termination device, used widely across the US, is fully capable of removing the embryo intact. And alive. In fact, Dr. Stein has extracted live embryos in all the pregnancy terminations he’s performed to date. In the past 50 or so years, medical incubation has been nearly perfected, so it was a relatively small feat to ensure the survival of the embryos to full blown personhood. In fact, this year, his very first pregancy termination was half way through his 5th grade in school, living with his biological father. Others were adopted, or living in special foster care facilities provided by the Catholic Church. Over 10,000 children of various ages were living their lives as a result. In conjuction with Dr. Stein’s announcement, the Catholic Church put out a universal call for use of its Safe Heaven™ facilities.
Dr Stein’s clinic and procedures were indistiguishable from abortion clinics. Women who had been his patients, despite rating him highly after the pregnancy termination, almost universally felt mislead and betrayed, despite evidence that Dr Stein had been 100% honest about what he was doing…ending the pregnancy by extraction of the embryo.
And soon lawsuits starting being filed. Biological fathers and grandparents started filing for child support from the mothers. Mothers started filing lawsuits alledging violation of privacy and their 14th Amendment rights. In some cases, the mothers were suing for custody.
What say you? I would not be surprised if viability is no longer a concern in my lifetime. When this happens, does abortion as we know it become irrelevant? Is the actual death of the embryo/fetus a right of the mother, or only the ending of the pregnancy? Would Doctors, knowing that they could extract the embryo alive and without any difference in procedure for the mother, be violating the Hippocratic Oath by killing the embryo/fetus? Can a mother be held financially responsible for child that is only biologically her’s because of the egg involved?