- Mar 2008
It means the point of viability. Can the fetus survive outside of the womb? If it cannot then it is not a sovereign being.
They would not have survived without intense medical intervention. That means they were not viable. To be viable, they would have had to be able to survive without any medical intervention.
There is however, an interesting philisophical point, and your post is the second one mentioning it. Is the viability real if it requires machines? A sister-in-law of mine has a mechanical heart valve. Is she non-viable? Does having a pacemaker make you non-viable?
the problem with the 'viability' argument is that it is based on our current level of technology, and that is inevitably going to change.
it is conceivable that in 30-40 years clever technicians will have developed an 'artificial womb'. that makes it possible to remove an embryo at say 6 weeks and install it in an artificial incubator. the embryo will continue to develop normally and many months later be 'born' and removed, healthy and fully grown. in this setting, 6 weeks is now considered viable.
but at 6 weeks a lot of people dont know they are pregnant yet. most abortions these days are done at 8-12 weeks. nobody argues about viability at this stage of embryonic development, but thats because its only 2019.