DC Trawler

What’s the difference between a baby and a fetus?

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A fetus is inconvenient.

I originally had this as an update to my previous post, but it’s a separate point. As Matt Lewis notes, the New York Times has a front-page story today titled “Live Music’s Charms, Soothing Premature Hearts.” Here’s a bit of it:

Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City led the research, conducted in 11 hospitals, which found that live music can be beneficial to premature babies. In the study, music therapists helped parents transform their favorite tunes into lullabies…

The study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, adds to growing research on music and preterm babies. Some hospitals find music as effective as, and safer than, sedating infants before procedures like heart sonograms and brain monitoring. Some neonatologists say babies receiving music therapy leave hospitals sooner, which can aid development and family bonding and save money.

Dr. Thomas Truman, the director of neonatal and pediatric intensive care at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital in Florida, which was not involved in the study, said infants who had music played to them went home earlier “at least by a couple of days, compared to babies that weren’t getting music therapy.”

Let’s compare and contrast that with this NYT story from March 18, which was all the way back on page A17:

Abortion Doctor’s Murder Trial Opens

PHILADELPHIA — In opening statements in court on Monday, prosecutors charged that a doctor who operated a women’s health clinic here killed seven viable fetuses by plunging scissors into their necks and “snipping” their spinal cords and was also responsible for the death of a pregnant woman in his care…

One of the prosecutors, Joanne Pescatore, an assistant district attorney, told the court that Dr. Gosnell routinely performed illegal late-term abortions, killing the seven fetuses in operations that would have caused the infants pain…

The defense lawyer said that there was scientific evidence on the viability of only two of the seven fetuses Dr. Gosnell is accused of killing, and that claims that the other five were viable were based on verbal reports by clinic staff members that the fetuses had been moving after they were aborted.

In fact, neither of the two fetuses was born alive, Mr. McMahon said.

Wait. Why are they “fetuses” when an abortionist is cutting off their heads and storing their feet in jars, but they’re “babies” when their loving mothers are trying to soothe them?

Because it’s easier to accept. Calling a baby a “fetus” blunts the impact when you’re describing something horrible happening to him or her. Otherwise, you can just tell the truth.

Perfect example, NYT.

Tags : treacher
Jim Treacher