FOX NEWS COMMENT THAT “VIABILITY IS 24 TO 26 WEEKS” IS WRONG

Posted on January 25, 2014

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Fox News network reporting yesterday on the judicial ruling to withdraw life support mechanical equipment from the brain-dead young woman, who was and is carrying a child in her womb now 22 weeks’ lmp gestation age, stated that this is prior to viability of a fetus which is “usually considered to be 24 to 26 weeks” gestation age.

24 to 26 weeks lmp gestation age may well be the general public’s view of ‘viability of a child in the womb’, which is better than the previous estimate (during the 1980s and 1990s) of 28 wekks lmp.  But the true facts based on massive studies in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan have categorically proven that babies CAN be viable at 22 weeks gestation lmp.

The statistics are that 1 in 5 babies born extremely prematurely at 22 weeks, at major hospitals with Neonatal Intensive Care Units, survive to long term life without defects.  The statistics for 24 weeks lmp are almost 6 in 10 exttremely preemie births survive to long term life.  At 26 weeks lmp, virtually ALL babies survive.  

In summary, viability is now defined (or SHOULD be re-defined) as 22 weeks lmp (i.e 20 weeks from conception).

This is not to infer that this particular baby (in yesterday’s judicial ruling regarding the mother) would survive birth: it was reported that the child had severe brain damage and other serious abnormalities.  However, one presumes that the hospital medical team/s would deliver the child from the mother’s womb before final respectful disposal of the mother’s body by the family.  The child would clearly not live, if indeed he or she were alive at delivery, thus permitting proper final rites for the infant as well. 

This post was meant more to point out an error in the media’s perception of viability.  One day soon, the media, and the public, and most importantatly legislators and judges, will realize and accept the fact that viability of an infant is 22 weeks lmp.  (There are a few adults alive today who actually were born at 21 weeks lmp…these recorded births can be easily verified through research on line.)

And one further note:  22 weeks gestation lmp (from last menstrual period) means about 20 weeks from actual conception of the human child.  It is quite right to seek prevention of abortion–for purely elective reasons–of any child over 20 weeks gestation, for reasons of both viability and of incurred pain.   

 

Posted in: POLITICS