British journalist, Amanda Platell, wrote an article titled “How could anyone look at this photo and deny it’s time to cut the abortion limit? She is referring to the picture of Amillia Taylor, pictured above.

Amillia was born in October 2006 at 21 weeks gestation, measuring a mere nine inches long. As you can see in the picture, for the most part Amillia looks like a newborn baby. And yet in England Amillia could have been aborted the same day this photo was taken. Current abortion law allows for babies to be aborted up to 24 weeks. Ms. Platell, who is not pro-life, is arguing that the legal limit should be reduced to 20 weeks, as proposed in a bill being considered right now by the British government. After all, she asks, how can anyone look at Amillia and argue that it is ok to kill her? Good question.

Ms. Platell argues her case in the following manner:

Each year in this country, we still legally abort 2,300 babies between 20 and 24 weeks. A foetus aborted at 20 weeks is given a lethal injection into the baby’s heart through the mother’s abdominal wall. It is then either born stillborn or dismembered and removed limb by limb. Let me repeat that. A fatal injection into the heart is given despite overwhelming evidence now even from pro-abortion campaigners like the distinguished Professor Sunny Anand of the University of Arkansas that foetuses feel pain at 18 weeks’ gestation.

I’ve seen Professor Anand talk, I’ve looked at his research. He’s not some raving pro-lifer with an axe to grind. He believes in abortion. He has carried out countless numbers of them during his career, yet he believes the medical evidence of foetal pain is now sufficient for a reduction in the legal limit to well below 24 weeks.

I’ve also seen in detail the high-resolution, 3D ultrasound images pioneered by Professor Stuart Campbell, where a foetus is clearly smiling and yawning at 20 weeks. It’s this kind of evidence that has shifted the mood in this country about abortion. Public opinion is changing, and changing fast. It is led in part by the medical profession. … Doctors are only too well aware of the moral dilemma of being told to fight to save a premature baby in one ward of a hospital – and end the life of another down the corridor.

As a pro-lifer, I could not agree more, and yet I could not help to wonder why, given these reasons, she is only advocating for a legal reduction from 24 to 20 weeks, rather than the elimination of abortion altogether. So I asked her by submitting a comment to the comments section. I wrote:

I agree with much of what you have said, but I can’t understand why you stop at 20 weeks. What is so different about the unborn at 19 weeks, or 15 weeks, or 3 weeks that would justify abortion? Is it because they can’t survive outside the womb? Why is this significant? Several years ago Amillia Taylor couldn’t have survived either. She only survived because of advances in medical technology. Can advances in technology transform babies like her from non-valuable things that can be killed at will, to valuable persons like you and me that should be protected by the law? Can medical technology change what the unborn is?

And what if future medical technology allows babies to survive outside the womb at 5 weeks? Would you support lowering the abortion limit to 5 weeks? Or what if artificial wombs become a reality in the next decade as some predict? All unborn babies would be able to survive outside the mother’s womb. Would you support outlawing abortion altogether? Clearly the ability to survive outside the womb cannot be what makes abortion right or wrong.

Maybe it’s the fact that they don’t feel pain. Would the Holocaust have been any less evil if Hitler found a way to kill the Jews without them experiencing pain? No, so why is it different for the unborn? Clearly the ability to feel pain is not what makes abortion right or wrong.

Maybe the difference is that it looks less human prior to 20 weeks. But is this morally significant? Does the way one looks give them value? Are disfigured and dismembered adults less human than you and I because they don’t look like us? Besides, the unborn do look like every one of us, when we were the same age they are. Our appearance changes throughout our life, but our value remains the same. Clearly appearance is not what makes abortion right or wrong.

What makes abortion right or wrong is the kind of thing the unborn is. If it is a human being, then no justification for abortion is adequate. But if it is not a human being, then no justification is necessary. There should be no limits on abortion at all. Choice should reign supreme. After all, if the unborn is not a human being, why set a limit on when it can be killed? We don’t set limits for when people can get their teeth pulled. The only reason it makes sense to establish time limits for abortion is because we understand that the unborn is not like a tooth. It is a morally significant being like us. But if that is the case, again, no justification for abortion is adequate.

My comments were not even published, so I highly doubt I will ever receive a response from Ms. Platell, but these questions need to be answered, not just by her, but by all those like her who make similar arguments. I am glad she is fighting to save the lives of 2300 babies a year, but I hope she’ll extend her logic even further to save thousands more.