Be­yond its proper role

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

Arkansas Se­nate Bill 148 re­quires any aborted fe­tus that is born alive to re­ceive im­me­di­ate med­i­cal care. If the doc­tor fails to pro­vide such care, he would be sub­ject to a Class D felony pun­ish­able by up to six years in prison. The bill fur­ther pro­vides that such a fe­tus, if un­wanted by the par­ent(s), shall be­come a ward of the state and that the mother be in­formed that her child was kept alive against her wishes.

This would ap­ply to fe­tuses at 19 weeks or less be­cause the state out­laws abor­tion at any later date. This stands in di­rect con­flict with the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion’s rec­om­men­da­tion that “re­sus­ci­ta­tion should be with­held when the ges­ta­tional age is less than 23 weeks, birth weight is less than 400 grams, anen­cephaly is present, or with a con­firmed di­ag­no­sis of tri­somy 13 or 18.”

Of course it’s no sur­prise that the Arkansas Leg­is­la­ture thinks it knows bet­ter than doc­tors. Or par­ents who have de­cided for a com­plex set of rea­sons to terminate the preg­nancy.

Arkansas can’t af­ford to take care of nor­mal chil­dren, much less pro­vide for five months of neona­tal med­i­cal in­ten­sive care. The costs don’t stop there. Ex­treme pre­ma­tu­rity comes with a host of life­long dis­abil­i­ties. Amid the cries for cuts to Med­i­caid ex­penses, now we’ve got money to force life on aborted fe­tuses?

I be­lieve this out­ra­geous leg­is­la­tion steps far be­yond the state’s proper role. The de­ci­sion to pro­duce a child rests with the par­ent(s). Pe­riod. DENELE CAMP­BELL

West Fork

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