In my short story, "Frozen Generation", (included in Light at the Edge of Darkness), I speculated about a future society that grows fetuses and embryos artificially and uses them for spare parts, slaves, etc. So it should come to no surprise I had my eye caught by a story about a 22 week fetus surviving what was almost a miscarriage:
The medical standard is not even to resuscitate a 22-week baby, so when Sonja Taylor knew she was going into labor in October after just 19 weeks, she lied about the baby's term.
Doctors worked to delay the birth, but nine days later, they had no choice but to perform an emergency C-section, thinking they were delivering a 23-week baby.
. . .
Pediatric surgeon Dr. Holly Neville was immediately called upon to repair Amillia's left ear and much of her scalp, which was torn during delivery and left dangling.
"She was literally just a coke can under sterile drapes," Neville said.
Normally, the skin of a baby that age wouldn't accept stitches or handling, but somehow Amillia's skin was mature beyond her age.
"I had never seen such a small baby," Neville said.
It was months later when doctors verified Amillia's true age through her parent's fertility specialist and discovered the perfectly healthy baby was born at exactly 21 weeks and six days -- a world record.
Now, somehow, I suspect she was only figuratively just a coke can rather than literally one, or at least I’ve never known a woman to give birth to cola, but seriously, grab a pen. Watch it a minute. Why? There’s a photo going around the internet of baby Amillia that shows she was barely bigger than your pen.
This perfect miniature little person is little different from the five month old fetus down the hall who is being aborted and disposed of as medical waste. I agree with Evan Brown, who reported on Amillia getting to get home on 2/21 this year after a four month stay in the hospital, and commented: “Amillia’s existence is a problem for those who argue for a woman’s ‘right’ to choose.”
But abortion advocates will find a justification for destroying human life even as technology increasingly moves towards the artificial wombs I envisioned in "Frozen Generation"—and to a place where, in order to justify the pro-choice position, our youngest children’s humanity, personhood, and rights are dependant upon the discretion of the mother.
I can’t help but think, one of these days, technology is going to make those who do not consider human life sacred from conception to the grave take another look at the “unwanted” pre-born as being useful for something other than fertilizer for a compost heap. They already look at them and see stem cells they hope will save lives (despite the reality that adult stem cells, which can be ethically obtained, have showed far more promise), growing virus cultures for vaccinations in tissue obtained from abortions, and to top it off, believe it or not, we are already harvesting fetal body parts for research.
Unfortunately, “Frozen Generation” does not require much stretch of the imagination at all.
More links on Andrea Graham and her work: Advanced Orders for Light at the Edge of Darkness