Monday, February 17, 2020

First breath

Mayor Pete:

In an interview on CBS' "Breakfast Club," the good mayor suggested that not only is a full-term baby girl, who is in the process of exiting her mother’s birth canal, not yet a human being, but neither is that same child post-birth, when she is held in the doctor’s hands.

No, a beating heart, the sensations of pain and pleasure, and the ability to move her legs, arms, fingers and toes do not grant this infant personhood, dignity and the right to life.

None of these things matter, says Mayor Pete. A baby is not human, nor does it warrant any legal protection, until after it takes its first breath.

1. Mayor Pete is morally reprehensible.

2. What is breathing? There are several ways to answer this question. I'll simplify, but I can delve into the technical details if necessary. Minimally, or essentially, I'd say breathing is gas exchange. Mainly oxygen and carbon dioxide as far as humans are concerned. Breathing is the movement of oxygen into the body and the movement of carbon dioxide out of the body.

3. Babies in the womb do, in fact, exchange gas. Hence, on this definition, babies are breathing in the womb. Of course, babies aren't breathing with fully functional lungs like we are. The main reason for this is because (at the risk of stating the obvious) a baby's lungs are still being formed in the womb. Nevertheless the baby is breathing, oxygenating, ventilating, exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide, perfusing cells and tissues and organs.

4. As such, Mayor Pete's criterion that a baby is only a human after it takes its first breath is preposterous. The baby has been breathing the entire time.

5. Mayor Pete seems to think breathing is something that happens when one can observe the diaphragm contracting, muscles moving, chest rising, and the like. However that's a mechanistic understanding of what breathing is. Breathing strictly as mechanics. But what's the purpose of our diaphragm contracting, muscles moving, and lungs working?

To put it another way, everyone needs oxygen to live, and in newborns and adults oxygen is best obtained via our lungs, but that doesn't necessarily imply our lungs are the only means by which we can obtain oxygen.

6. Otherwise, if we consistently applied this mechanistic position, then a baby or adult who can't breathe without the assistance of modern ventilators (or in the past an iron lung) is "not human, nor does it warrant legal protection". Likewise a drowned person who can be revived with CPR but whose lungs aren't currently expanding and contracting is "not human, nor does it warrant legal protection". A newborn or adult on a heart-lung (cardiopulmonary) bypass machine is "not human, nor does it warrant legal protection".


  1. So, if I hold my breath, then I’m not a human. Interesting take.

  2. Wonder what Pete would say to a woman who aborted her baby because she thought it would be homomsexual.

    1. Well, that’s a different case. Obviously, it would be a case of heteronormative privilege, a destruction of the other, cis oppression... etc. So, obviously it’s different.

    2. "Wonder what Pete would say to a woman who aborted her baby because she thought it would be homomsexual."

      That's a very good question! I'd be interested in hearing Mayor Pete's answer, but something tells me he'd dodge it. :)

      Progressives like Mayor Pete aren't consistent in stating abortion is fundamentally about "a woman's right to choose" what she wants to do with "her body". Otherwise progressives would be fighting for a woman's right to choose all around the world, but I don't often see progressives demanding Muslim women should have the right to choose what they want to do with their own bodies. Otherwise, despite their abortion advocacy, progressives would find it troubling that many babies in China are aborted simply because they're female.

  3. These Leftists fall over themselves to adopt any position that places no guilt on the mother. Disgusting. And, it's anti-science besides.

    1. I couldn't agree more! Absolutely anti-scientific. Not to mention progressives are typically misandrists. The war against men/boys, etc.