Remember the news story a couple months ago about the pregnant woman with undetected melanoma who was brain-dead from a cancer-related stroke? And her husband kept her body on life support so she could continue serving as an incubator? Well, that body has now undergone a C-section at roughly 26 weeks of gestation, and a baby weighing 1 lb., 13 oz. and 13.5 in. long has been born. According to a news article, "the baby appears healthy, said the girl's uncle." A lot of 26-weekers do start out on ventilators, so perhaps already the baby (named Susan after her quasi-late mother) resembles her mother. It's expected that adult Susan's life support will be turned off soon, and her widower can move his vigil from her hospital room to baby Susan's NICU. While the uncle describes the baby as "healthy," she's likely to remain hospitalized for a good 3 months or so (many preemies stay in the NICU until they are close to their original due date; those with complications may stay longer).
The idea of keeping a body nominally "alive" for months (about 3 months in this case) to gestate a fetus gives me the willies. Yes, I have sympathy for the family that has suffered a terrible tragedy, but it seems like a precariously slippery slope to walk out on without a better pair of cleats. Predictably, the National Pro-Life Action Center issued a statement last night, saying in part: "This has reaffirmed the incalculable value and sanctity of every human life from conception to natural death." If it makes sense for a woman whose brain has ceased working at 15 weeks of gestation to have others decide to use her body as an incubator (her husband says this is what she would have wanted, and that may well be), it's not that far a stretch for others to decide that a healthy woman in the early second trimester of pregnancy should also continue serving as a vessel, whether or not she wants to.
I suspect some of you think I'm completely wrong on this, but that's my two cents' worth.