Glenn Woiceshyn, writing on behalf of the Ayn Rand Institute, made the following statements in several articles dealing with the controversial topic of so-called "partial birth abortion":
There are critically important issues involved here. Anti-abortionists claim that this issue reveals the hypocrisy behind the claims of pro-choice advocates that they want to stand on the principle of a woman's right to control her own body. The cavalier sanction of late term abortion, when the potential viability of the fetus outside the womb may be at issue, suggests that whim-worship, not self-determination, is what the supporters of pro-choice are really defending.
" 'Partial-birth' abortion, most commonly known as intact dilation and extraction (D&X), is designed primarily to be used in the case of 5- and 6-month-old fetuses that are dying, malformed, or threaten the woman's health or life...
"Anti-abortionists coined the term 'partial birth' to suggest that the partially removed fetus is no longer "unborn," and, therefore, Roe vs. Wade no longer applies (so they allege). But linguistic manipulation can't create an essential distinction when none exists. A woman has a right to her own body, and, if she chooses to abort, then all effort should be made to protect the woman from injury. To rule otherwise is to negate this right.
"Banning any type of abortion to "protect the fetus" necessarily grants rights to the fetus -- an utter perversion of individual rights... Properly, an infant's rights begin after the fetus is removed from the mother's body and its umbilical cord cut..." Ban on "Partial-Birth" Abortion Would Be a Blow to Individual Rights (9-25-03)
Where the health and safety of the woman or the fetus is clearly threatened, late-term abortion may well be justified. But Woiceshyn defends abortion in a way that implies a woman can blithely choose to destroy the fetus until the moment the umbilical cord is cut. He contends that to do otherwise is to open the door to an eventual ban on all abortions.
But the opposite is true: the failure to make crucial distinctions regarding the developmental stage of the embryo or fetus totally undermines the pro-choice position, and lends credence to the pro-lifer's contention that all abortion represents the devaluation of human life.
Woiceshyn argues that the opponents of "partial birth abortion" are trying to "create an essential distinction when none exists." Well, since he is writing under the auspices of the Ayn Rand Institute, he might have investigated what she had to say on that subject:
"Never mind the vicious nonsense of claiming that an embryo has a 'right to life.' A piece of protoplasm has no rights—and no life in the human sense of the term. One may argue about the later stages of a pregnancy, but the essential issue concerns only the first three months. To equate a potential with an actual, is vicious; to advocate the sacrifice of the latter to the former, is unspeakable.Ayn Rand, The Ayn Rand Letter, A Last Survey--Part I ,Vol. IV, No. 2 November-December 1975
Ayn Rand obviously considered the first three months of a pregnancy to be essentially distinct from the subsequent stages. There is every reason to believe she may well have opposed 'partial birth abortion' on principle, when no health or safety issues were paramount. If the Ayn Rand Institute prides itself on strict philosophical adherence to her ideas and teachings, it might want to stop promoting views directly contradictory to her own writing on the subject.