FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE

Thursday

Partial-Birth Abortion

For the past several years, I have tried to make it a principle to not get into a debate about abortion. It is a polarizing issue, and it is one filled with so much misinformation.

In any given debate on the subject, you can break down every single argument to a single premise. Actually, it is a single question. It is that question which causes such division. And, it is that question which seems irresolvable.

That question is, “When does life begin?” Abortion supporters call it a fetus. Abortion opponents call it a child. How people answer that question, in most cases, depends on which side of the abortion issue they take.

Yet, despite the huge division between the two sides, they can agree on one thing. Once that child breeches the womb, it has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Thus, the problem. There has been a controversial procedure in this country known as partial-birth abortion. Here are the basics.

Typical abortions can only be performed in the first two trimesters of a pregnancy. But, after the 21st week of pregnancy, the only abortion option is a late-term abortion, also commonly called "partial birth abortion." There is a reason this term is applied.

In this procedure, the child is turned to the breech position, feet first. The doctor pulls the child out of the womb by the legs, leaving only the head still inside the birth canal. At this point, the doctor sticks a catheter into the child’s skull. The catheter sucks the child’s brain out, causing its skull to collapse.

The child is in the process of being delivered as it is murdered. That is why the term “partial-birth abortion” applies.

Even many of the most stern abortion supporters can see a problem with this practice. Their contention in supporting abortion is that the fetus is not alive until it comes out of the womb. Partial-birth abortion is at serious odds with that contention.

In 2003, the Bush administration and the Republican-controlled Congress passed a nationwide ban on this barbaric practice. Since then, the ban has been challenged by abortion supporters who state that the ban is unconstitutional. That’s funny. I can’t seem to find the part of the Constitution that enumerates our right to murder a child while it is in the process of being born.

The Supreme Court agrees. Yesterday, they upheld the ban on Partial-birth abortion. Justice has been served.

This is NOT a ban on all abortions. It has nothing to do with Roe v. Wade. Partial-birth abortion is in a category all to itself. There is absolutely no defense for such a practice.

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