More Planned Parenthood Stupidity

Filed in Science, Social IssuesTags: Sanctity of Life

Another post from Evangelical Outpost, this time concerning a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman both lying through her teeth, and uttering sheer idiocy:

In the latest edition of Planned Parenthood’s webzine choice! magazine, a reader asks Dr. Vanessa Cullins to resolve a dispute about whether life begins at conception or when “a baby takes its first breath.” Dr. Cullins, an obstetrician/gynecologist and vice president for medical affairs at PPFA, responds:

All kinds of people — theologians, philosophers, scientists, lawyers, legislators, and many others — hold very different views about when life begins. In fact, both the egg and the sperm are living things before they meet and join. There's no real argument there. The really hot question is, "When does being a person begin?" Most medical authorities and Planned Parenthood agree that it starts when a baby takes its first breath.

EO does a fine job discussing the moral irrelevance (and intellectual dishonesty) of such a statement; however, I was struck by its sheer stupidity.

To be clear, the act of breathing involves pulmonary function - that is, the transfer of oxygen through the lungs into the bloodstream. This oxygen is introduced to the lungs via respiration: breathing. Now, everyone knows that humans breathe air. However, as the PP spokeswoman fails to point out, humans breathe air only after the expulsion of the placenta from the uterus during childbirth. Prior to this act, respiration occurs inside the placenta, and the unborn child respirates the amniotic fluid it contains. Thus, the point that this woman attempts to make - that "human" being begins at the point of "first breath", and "first breath" occurs at childbirth, ergo "human" being begins at childbirth - is an utter fallacy. In truth, pulmonary function in unborn children begins about four weeks after fertilization.

If Planned Parenthood were intellectually honest and consistent, no abortions would thus be performed beyond the fourth week of pregnancy.