Why is it called "Partial-Birth"?

Under state laws, a "live birth" occurs when a baby is entirely expelled from the mother and shows any signs of life, however briefly -- regardless of whether the baby is "viable," i.e., developed enough to be sustained outside the womb with neo-natal medical assistance. Even at 4½ months (20 weeks), perinatologists say that if a baby is expelled or removed completely from the uterus, she will usually gasp for breath and sometimes survive for hours, even though lung development is usually insufficient to permit successful sustained respiration until 23 weeks. Thus, the term "partial-birth" is perfectly descriptive.

Printed with permission from National Right to Life (www.nrlc.org ).

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