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Ben Franklin: "Nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes"

The Department of Health and Human Services recently issued guidance for a 2002 law that mandates care for fetuses "born alive" naturally or in the process of an abortion. Prior to the guidance, a miscarriage prior to viability was classified as a spontaneous abortion. Now it is recorded as a live birth followed by a neonatal death, and parents can claim the child as a tax deduction for that year.

HHS issues new rules for care of "live" fetuses - The Seattle Times

Comments (5)

Expect to see our infant mo... (Below threshold)

Expect to see our infant mortality rate grow as a result of this change, furthering the worsening of the US when ranked against other countries when people clamor for a "single payer" medical system.

I'm missing something; why ... (Below threshold)

I'm missing something; why will this make our infant mortality rate grow?

Unlike some countries, babi... (Below threshold)

Unlike some countries, babies that live even a few hours and then die are used in the tallying of infant mortality. Other countries wait for a few days, usually. So if a child is born who dies after 6 hours, in the U.S. it's counted, but in other countries it's not. So even if the infant mortality pattern is the same in the U.S. and somewhere else, if we count it after a couple hours, and other people wait a few days, then we're counting deaths in our mortality rate that others are not. So our mortality rate looks higher.

So what happens in a miscarriage where the baby isn't already dead when born, but is pre-viability (so it can't breathe, or can't eat, etc.) is that the baby will die in a matter of minutes once it's outside the mom's body. They didn't count this as a live birth before, so it wasn't included in the mortality stats. But now it will be counted as an infant death.

(Some miscarriages happen after the fetus has already died, just as some full-term deliveries occur after the fetus has died (called stillbirth). Both of these have happened several times in my family, but the stillbirths are from my grandparents' generation. With the prenatal care tech we've got now, stillbirths are far more rare. Usually if they've found the fetus has died early on, they'll do the same procedure as a regular abortion.)

Different states have diffe... (Below threshold)

Different states have different definitions:

-Death of a baby in utero (the fetus) before 20 weeks (the halfway mark) is called a "miscarriage" in many states (Massachusetts and Maryland, to name two).

-Death of a baby in utero (the fetus) from 20 weeks until the hour of natural birth (around 40 weeks in most women) is called a "stillbirth" (again, Massachusetts and Maryland, to name two).

HOW the baby is delivered is up to the mother and her doctors.

I've lived this: my second daughter was stillborn, full term (no reason ever determined). She was determined to have died, and was delivered (otherwise normally) 8 hours later, God rest her soul.

The real culprit is the irr... (Below threshold)

The real culprit is the irresistible appeal of secular hedonism to all healthy, well-off, well-educated populations.






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