“Babies aren’t human.” Who could resist an abortion pitch as winning as that?

“The combination of scientific ignorance and *literal* dehumanization on display here is really something,” Seth Mandel marvels about the clip below, which involves Christine Quinn restating basic, basic left-wing orthodoxy on this subject. It’s so basic, in fact, that I came away wondering how CNN arrived at this segment. The news hook is the “heartbeat bills” being signed into law in red states but it feels like the sort of thing a network booker might resort to on a particularly slow news day, news hook or not. Need to fill 10 minutes of airtime? Get Rick Santorum and Christine Quinn to have a barroom brawl over whether it’s right to kill infants in the womb.

George Will wrote recently about the “heartbeat bills,” correctly identifying why the left finds them objectionable: They focus on an element of physiology that’s understood universally as a sign of life.

The “heartbeat bills” are wholesome provocations: One of their aims is to provoke thinking about the moral dimension of extinguishing a being with a visibly beating heart

The changed composition of the Supreme Court, and the supposed imminent danger that Roe will be overturned, is the excuse that pro-abortion extremists have seized upon to do what they want to do anyway: to normalize extreme abortion practices expressive of the belief that never does fetal life have more moral significance than a tumor in a mother’s stomach.

He wrote that last sentence a few days before Quinn’s conversation with Santorum, anticipating her argument. As others have noted, from Marco Rubio to Alexandra DeSanctis at NRO, a party that opposes any penalties for late-term abortion has no choice but to take this position. Once you agree to start drawing lines in which a fetus “progresses” towards humanity in the womb, whether “humanity” arrives at the point of viability or at the end of the first trimester or once a heartbeat can be detected or once it can feel pain, you invite regulation. To take the absolutist position which progressives favor, that pregnancy mustn’t be regulated at any stage, you have no choice but to dehumanize the infant utterly until it leaves the womb. “Birth does not magically confer humanity,” says DeSanctis in her piece about this today, but i’s not an exaggeration to say that that’s precisely the mainstream left-wing position on this in 2019. Birth, and nothing else, confers humanity. Unless and until that happens, mom gets to do whatever she wants to her “tumor.” Whenever she wants.