Congress ban so-called partial-birth abortions? Pro Rep. Christopher H. Smith, R-N. J. Chairman, Bipartisan Congressional Pro-life Caucus. Written for The ICQ Researcher, March 2003 A society Is measured by how well ? or poorly ? It treats the most vulnerable in its midst, and partial-birth abortion, like all abortions, is horrific violence against women and children. Justice Clarence Thomas accurately described the procedure in his Sternberg v.
Chart (2000) dissent: “After dilating the cervix, the physician will grab the fetus by its feet and pull the fetal body out of the uterus into he vaginal cavity. At this stage of development, the head is the largest part of the body…. The head will be held inside the uterus by the woman’s cervix. While the fetus is stuck in this position, dangling partly out of the woman’s body, and Just a few inches from a completed birth, the physician uses an instrument such as a pair of scissors to tear or perforate the skull.
The physician will then either crush the skull or will use a vacuum to remove the brain and other Interracial contents from the fetal skull, collapse the fetus’ head, and pull the fetus from the uterus. Most partial-birth abortions are committed between the 20th and 26th week of pregnancy. At this stage, a prematurely delivered infant is usually born alive. These are babies who are extremely sensitive to pain ? whether inside the womb, fully born or anywhere in- between. An overwhelming majority of Americans are outraged that this procedure is legal in our country.
A January Gallup Poll found that 70 percent favored and 25 percent opposed “a law that would make it illegal to perform a specific abortion procedure conducted in the last six months of pregnancy known as ‘partial birth abortion,’ except in cases necessary to save the life of the mother. ” In a January speech, President Bush agreed: “Partial-birth abortion Is an abhorrent procedure that offends human dignity. ” I have written two torture-victims relief laws and many other pieces of human-rights legislation including a law to stop exploitation of women by sex traffickers.
Partial-birth abortion Is torture of baby girls and boys, and I am ashamed of my colleagues who stand on the House floor to defend it. Abortion methods are violence against children. There is absolutely nothing compassionate or ensign about dousing a baby with superintendence salt solutions or lethal injections or hacking them to pieces with surgical knives, and there is absolutely nothing compassionate or caring about sucking a baby’s brains out. Con Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N. Y. Co-chair, Pro-Choice Caucus.
Written for The ICQ Researcher, March 2003 1 do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.. .” Before taking office, Members of Congress pledge these words to uphold the Constitution. Yet, again this year, anta- hooch legislators Introduce legislation that disregards the Constitution and the precious rights It guarantees. The right to privacy as recognized In Roe v. Wade and reaffirmed in Planned Parenthood v. Casey is a fundamental American value. Constitutionally protected right, so they have changed tactics.
Their strategy now is to whittle away at a woman’s right to choose until all that remains are hollow guarantees in a faded court opinion. The legislative centerpiece of this strategy is misleadingly titled Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. Three years after the Supreme Court addressed this issue in the landmark Sternberg v. Chart decision overturning Nebraskan prohibition of so-called “partial-birth” abortions, opponents of reproductive freedom want to force through Congress legislation that contains the same serious constitutional flaws as the Nebraska ban.
The court ruled that the Nebraska law was unconstitutional because it did not provide an exception to protect a woman’s health. Further, it ruled that the law was an undue burden on women’s rights to privacy, because the vague description of partial-birth abortions covered multiple procedures, including the most common form of second trimester abortion. The legislation’s authors could have drafted a bill that complies with constitutional standards, yet they have not done so. This bill does NOT include an exception for the health of the woman, and it does NOT prohibit a specific abortion procedure.
Congress should not invade the doctor-patient relationship. These intensely personal choices must be made by women, their doctors and their families ? not by politicians. We should praise doctors who care for women faced with this difficult decision, not make them federal criminals. This legislation is an attack on the power f the Supreme Court, the Constitution and women’s health and dignity. Forcing members of Congress year after year to consider a bill that is clearly unconstitutional is a waste of taxpayers’ money.
Instead of continually reintroducing unconstitutional legislation, proponents of this measure should put their energies and resources into promoting women’s health by improving access to contraception and supporting comprehensive family-planning programs. Naomi Wolf Author of The Beauty Myth, Fire with Fire and Promiscuity: The Secret Struggle for Womanhood.. From The New York Times, April 3, 1997. From a pro-choice point of view, things look grim. Last month, came accusations that abortion-rights advocates had prevaricated about how frequently “partial birth” or “intact dilation and extraction” abortion is performed.
Then the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to ban the procedure. The Senate may soon address the issue, but even if it fails to override President Silicon’s promised veto, the pro-choice movement is staring at a great symbolic defeat. This looks like a dark hour for those of us who are pro-choice. But, with a radical shift in language and philosophy, we can turn this moment into a victory for all Americans. How? First, let us stop shying away from the facts. Pro-lifers have made the most of the “partial-birth” abortion debate to traumatized the gruesome details of late-term abortions.
Then they move on to the equally unpleasant details of second-trimester abortions. Thus, pro-lifers have succeeded in making queasy many voters who once thought that they were comfortable with Roe vs.. Wade…. What if we transformed our language to reflect believe it to be: a failure, whether that failure is of technology, social support, education or male and female responsibility? What if we called policies that sustain, tolerate and even guarantee the highest abortion rate of any industrialized nation what they should be called: crimes against women?
The moral of such awful scenes is that a full-fledged campaign for cheap and easily accessible contraception is the best antidote to our shamefully high abortion rate. Use of birth control lowers the likelihood of abortion by 85 percent, according to the Alan Stomacher Institute. More than half of the unplanned pregnancies occur because no contraception was used. If we asked Americans to send checks to Planned Parenthood to help save hundreds of husbands of women a year from having to face abortions, our support would rise exponentially.
For whatever the millions of pro-lifers think about birth control, abortion surely must be worse. A challenge to pro-choicer to abandon a dogmatic approach must be met with a challenge to pro-lifers to separate from the demagogues in their ranks and Join us in a drive to prevent unwanted pregnancies. 1997 The New York Times. Reprinted with permission. Con Kathy Author of Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism,. From The New York Times, June 18, 1996. Can there be a truce in the abortion wars? A lot of people would like to think so….
The Common Ground Network for Life and Choice tries to get activists on both sides to lower the decibel level, so that they can work together to [reduce] unwanted pregnancies…. Who can quarrel with civility? … But when talking together becomes working together, the pro-choice people play a dangerous game, lending support to proposals that are both ineffectual and contrary to their own values. Adoption is a big item on the Common Ground agenda: It should be made easier, more respectable, less racially fraught, less expensive. Maybe so.
But in its position paper on the subject, Common Ground goes so far as to suggest that states subsidize adoption with family planning funds hardly a recipe for fewer unwanted pregnancies. Will pro-adoption campaigns result, as Hillary Roadman Clinton claimed in a letter to Common Ground, in “far fewer abortions? ” Not likely. Sex education is another area in which a well-intentioned search for common ground leads, in practice, to pro-life turf. In the chapter of Common Ground in Norfolk, Va. , pro-choicer are working with pro-lifers to bring a program called “Better Beginnings” o the local schools.
Aimed at 10-to-14-year-olds, it is essentially an advertising campaign to promote sexual abstinence…. This is a laudable goal, but do such programs lower teen-age pregnancy rates? Not according to two respected research groups…. So why did pro-choicer, who support education about contraceptives, agree to support an abstinence-only education program? Opponents of abortion rights were also against birth control. Abstinence was common ground…. This may look like a coalition politics, but it isn’t a coalition when one side simply adopts the other’s agenda.
Abstinence-based sex education isn’t half of an abstinence- and contraception-based sex education. It’s a wholly different program, one that denies young people life-saving information in the false belief that knowledge of birth control encourages sex. Adoption? Abstinence? Abortion as a moral iniquity? Those programs or the language of their opponents. It’s the pro-lifers who stand to gain. They give up nothing, while looking ever so reasonable and flexible, and their marginal ideas become accepted as mainstream. 1997, The New York Times. Reprinted with permission.