Pro-Life Groups Say Torres Baby's Birth Will Sway Opposition

By Carolyn Bolls | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - Two days after the birth of Susan Anne Catherine Torres and the death of her brain-dead mother, pro-life groups now believe this "miracle baby" will help preserve life and convince abortion rights supporters to switch sides.

"It will cause people to stop and think twice about abortion and what the truth and the reality of it is," Amber Dolle, media director for the pro-life group, American Life League, told Cybercast News Service.

"[The birth of Susan Anne Catherine] really helps people that maybe have sat on the fence and don't know if the child living in the womb is really a person ... to see that this is a living human person [who] we need to do all we can to protect by nature and by law in this country," Dolle said.

"It has shown the humanity of the child in the womb," she added.

Abortion rights groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America have remained silent regarding the baby's birth. The silence "tells me that these groups don't recognize that in a situation like this, this child ... had every right for her life to be protected ... as would any other person living outside the womb," Dolle said.

She suggested that the birth of the Torres child is a problem for abortion rights groups because the baby could have been aborted "by law even if she were perfectly healthy."

The Supreme Court's landmark rulings in 1973 - Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton - allowed for abortion to take place at any point during the nine months of a pregnancy. In the 32 years since abortion was legalized, the procedure has been "compartmentalized as a political issue, or a religious issue, or a moral issue," according to Dolle.

However, she said, "It's none of those things. It's a human and civil rights issue." Supporters who sent donations to the Susan M. Torres Fund, helping the family pay their huge medical bills, recognize the difference, Dolle said, that "this isn't a blob of tissue, or a part of this woman's body."

Susan Anne Catherine Torres' birth might also affect the public's position on stem cell research, Dolle said. Advocates of increased stem cell research support the destruction of frozen embryos - fertilized eggs - in order to extract the stem cells. But "if at 24 weeks, if at 10 weeks, at 14 weeks we believe it is a human person, then why don't we believe that after 1 or 2 weeks?" Dolle asked.

"If we believe it is a life and believe that it has humanity and that it has rights in this country, then we have to make that belief consistent across all lines, and I think this case can certainly help to promote that idea and promote that way of thinking," she said.

Joe Giganti, spokesman for the National Pro-Life Action Center (NPLAC), told Cybercast News Service that stem cell research is "a bunch of fluff with no guarantees and no evidence." He asserted that real results come from non-embryonic research.

The average American, he said, will see Susan Anne Catherine Torres and recognize that "we have no right to take that child's life."

Paul Chaim Schenck, executive director of NPLAC, stated in a press release Tuesday that the birth "exemplifies the greatest gift we can ever be given" which is "life."

The Torres baby's birth "has reaffirmed the incalculable value and sanctity of every human life from conception to natural death,' Schenck added.

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