Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Anti-Choice Wins Something

There are many news reports regarding the Supreme Court's ruling to uphold the ban of "partial birth abortions." The anti-choice ("Pro-life"... pro-death penalty hypocrites) are referring to this as a tremendous victory.

Good for you. Ignoring the fact that "Partial Birth Abortion" is not actually a medical term, according to the New York Times, of 1.3 million abortions last year, 2,200 involved the procedure the ban refers to. Congratulations! You managed a victory that bans .1% of all abortions! That's like, the biggest accomplishment ever! Wow!!!

(note: it is still legal to have this procedure if the mother's life is in danger, which could account for nearly all of the 2,200).



Ron West said...

You're right that its a fairly rare procedure. However, I'm far more concerned with SCOTUS turning back prior decisions. So much for starri decisis.

Chase Roper said...

I think you might be incorrect here. You can read up on it yourself, but I believe that the "partial birth" abortion procedure ban does not leave exception for when a mother's health is in danger. Also, I'm curious why, if the mother was in danger, couldn't the doctor perform a cesarian to remove the baby and allow it to die or by some miracle live? It just feels so wrong to me to punch a hole in the baby's head, drain out its skull and deliver the rest. I mean, I'm not a woman so I guess it's not my choice. But hey.

Librocrat said...

In fact, you can perform the Dilation and Extraction abortion to save the life of the mother. See the wikipedia article for more:

The original law did not allow that exception, but to get the law past the supreme court, they had to change it to add that addendum.

Also, the real issue is that "Partial birth abortion" is not actually a thing. It is a term, made up, that refers vaguely to a type of abortion only used .1% of the time. But by using a vague phrase with no meaning, they can later argue that "oh, well, partial birth also refers to this type of abortion too, because it does this... and it also refers to this one" etc. Until eventually they can use it as a blanket for all abortions. That's dangerous.

Chase Roper said...

Ah, but a doctor cannot perform the Dialation and Extraction if the fetus has grown passed a certain level. That is why the "partial birth" method is used. That's my best understanding anyway. As far adding the addendum, I read Hilary Clinton's comment on her website and she specifically stated that she was disappointed that the exception was not included.

Librocrat said...

The Dilation and extraction method are what "partial birth" is referring to. Remember, "Partial Birth" is not actually a thing. It is Referring to Dilation and Extraction, they are not separate choices.

Regardless, though, of whether or not it is used to save the life of the mother, the issue is that it is illegal. Only 10% of the country thinks a third trimester abortion is Okay (except for the life of the mother). Myself included, if I thought that ONLY those abortions would be outlawed except in extreme cases like health, rape or incest, I wouldn't have much of a problem with it if I thought the issue would be dropped afterwards. But it won't be. The argument will continue to be "well, what constitutes a partial birth? Okay, so suppose they poke the head but don't pull it out? Okay, now what if they use a pill but there is a head still there? Okay, so what about if the head has not grown yet but the cells for a head are still there? etc. etc. etc. Again, the "partial birth" is performed on only .1% of all abortions. I don't care if an incredibly rare procedure is outlawed. I care about the consequences of outlawing any type of procedure when the terms used to describe it are undefined. "Partial Birth" is not a thing.

Quote from the New York Times emphasizing my point:

Mr. Bush welcomed the ruling, saying: “The Supreme Court’s decision is an affirmation of the progress we have made over the past six years in protecting human dignity and upholding the sanctity of life. We will continue to work for the day when every child is welcomed in life and protected in law.

See, he's going to use that ruling as a way to influence banning other methods. It's not this one method he's concerned about, he's only using it as a starting point for argument about banning others.

Also. FYI, from the New York Times:

"Congress passed the law in response to the court’s ruling in the Nebraska case, responding specifically to the majority’s insistence in that case that the law must include an exception for circumstances when the banned procedure was necessary for the sake of a pregnant woman’s health. Congress provided an exception only to save a pregnant woman’s life, as Nebraska had."

The original law did not contain the exception, but that eventually got overturned.

Now, there is an argument that the dilation and extraction procedure will rarely, if ever, be used to save a woman's life. But my point was of the .1% of its use, not whether the 2,200 used it for that very purpose.

Anonymous said...

I do not agree with the slipper slope argument that you use. The arbitrariness of the term was only so that it could target a very specific, rare, and cruel form of abortion. Read the law. It says specifically either headfirst birth of a fetus, or birth past the navel.

The purpose of this law was not to stop abortion. I am pro-choice, but I support this ban.