U.S. partial-birth abortion ban

10.02.03

Our neighbours to the south aren’t wasting much time in further restricting the rights of women, by legislating a ban on partial-birth abortions:

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a ban on “partial birth abortions,” bringing anti-abortion forces within easy reach of a long-sought victory.

The U.S. Senate is expected to act within weeks, sending it to President Bush, who plans to sign it.

The procedure, often distorted by anti-abortion activists and misunderstood by most (male) legislators, is really only used when a fetus is severely deformed and there’s a risk to the life or health of the pregnant mother. But this new law aims to eliminate it, without providing an exception to protect the health of pregnant women:

Opponents of the ban say it is unconstitutional because it does not provide an exception to protect the health of a pregnant woman. Some also argue that the bill will actually apply to other more common abortion techniques, not just one particularly troublesome one.

New York Democrat Louise Slaughter said that backers of the ban are distorting it to suggest that it is a common procedure undertaken cavalierly on healthy fetuses. She argued that it is most often used when there are severe fetal deformities. “These are not children who will be born and run around the room,” she said.

I’m no fan of abortion but I think that the worst thing a government can do is to restrict the rights of a woman to choose. And this bill isn’t even aimed at people who callously abuse abortion as a form of birth control. Instead, it’s aimed at women whose health or even life may be at risk from a troubled pregnancy.

This is Congress practicing medicine – and not too well, for that matter. Legislators should stay away from meddling with the private reproductive rights of women.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Oswald Sobrino 10.07.03 at 3:16 PM

However difficult it may be for us to accept, severe deformity does not give us the right to kill a baby. Maybe, the truly deformed ones are those who carry out and support the killing of babies. It is amazing that so many are willing to have blood on their hands.

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2 segacs 10.07.03 at 4:05 PM

We’re not talking about babies, we’re talking about fetuses. A fetus can become a person but is not yet a person. As such, it has rights, but not more rights than those of its mother, especially if her life or health is in danger.

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