Friday, April 30, 2010
Recently, in Italy, a 22-weeks-old infant who had survived an attempted abortion -- the reason for the abortion, apparently, was the child's cleft-palate -- was found hidden but alive by a hospital chaplain, 20 hours after birth. The child died the next day. The full story is here.
. . . Eugenia Roccella, the under-secretary of state in the health department, on Wednesday night promised a government inquiry into the incident.
“The minister of health will send inspectors to the hospital in Rossano Calabro to investigate what actually happened, and to see if the Law 194, which prohibits abortion when there is a possibility of the foetus living separately from the mother, and permits it only when the continuation of the pregnancy would result in life-threatening danger to the mother.”
She said that if initial information is correct, “this would be a case of deliberate abandonment of a seriously premature neonate, possibly also with some form of disability, an act contrary to any sense of human compassion but also of any accepted professional medical practice".
She added: “We must remember that a baby, once born, is an Italian citizen equal to all the others, and is entitled to all fundamental rights, including the right to health and therefore to be given full support.” . . .
My sense of the abortion debate in this country is that many would disagree with the claims that a child who is born alive, despite (or in the course of) an abortion attempt, is -- without regard to the mother's wishes -- "entitled to all fundamental rights", including a right to life-sustaining medical care. Am I wrong?