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Abortion issue heats up again

There has been no issue more hotly contested in our lifetime than abortion.

The infamous Roe vs. Wade decision of 1973, legalizing abortion and introducing the concept of a “woman’s right to choose,” resulted in a litany of nasty, egregious debate among Americans and precipitated a vivid bifurcation of the American moral landscape.

Reactions to the passing of this law ranged from joyful glee to outright mock outrage among most Americans.

Some things never change.

Sparks flew all over Washington on Tuesday when the Supreme Court said it will hear arguments about reinstating a federal ban on partial-birth abortion. The term partial-birth abortion is a specialized procedure carried out in the second or third trimester, in which a fetus is removed from the womb and its skull is punctured or crushed by a needle until it is dead. The case is being heard in response to 31 different states banning partial-birth abortions over the past eight years.

All I can say is that it’s about time.

Partial-birth abortion is a disgusting procedure that only exists because of nebulous pseudo-medical jargon terms that were invented by bureaucrats to distort the veritable truth that this procedure is not only vicious, cruel murder of a living being, but is also completely unnecessary.

However, those that support the procedure cite that most cases of partial-birth abortion occur in the middle of the second trimester.

These proponents contend that the fetus is not alive at this point in the pregnancy, so it is technically not murder.

Yet according to federal and most state law, a “live birth” occurs when a baby displays any respiration, heartbeat, or movement of voluntary muscles. This is highly relevant because even in the fifth month, a baby’s lungs are developed enough that it draws breath. Therefore, this procedure oftentimes does in fact result in the murder of a living being.

Proponents of partial-birth abortion also argue that this procedure preserves the health of the mother in a more dependable manner than typical abortion procedures.

However, medical evidence refutes this claim. In fact, Congress conducted extensive research on this matter and after numerous investigations and hearings, they found that partial-birth abortion is unnecessary to preserve “health,” and actually poses intrinsic risks even over and above other abortion methods.

These findings make sense.

After all, there is nothing wrong with someone believing in abortion. In fact, I even think that there are exceptional circumstances that call for an abortion, such as the case of life-threatening circumstances for the mother.

However, if the life of the mother is not at risk, then there is absolutely no reason that a partial-birth abortion should take place.

The president and congress seem to agree.

On November 5, 2003, President George W. Bush signed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which banned all forms of partial-birth abortion except in the case of a pregnancy being life threatening for the woman.

According to the bill, non-life threatening health issues are not substantial enough reasons for this procedure to take place.

This carefully worded document also includes a statement from the American Medical Association, which states that there is no medical situation where partial-birth abortion is necessary to preserve the physical health of the woman.

Americans feel the same way.

A CNN-USA Today poll conducted in October 2003, found that among adults (age 18-29), a ban on partial-birth abortions is favored 77-19 percent, while among the older groups, support was 68-25 percent.

A Gallup poll conducted earlier that year, which specified that the method is “conducted in the last six months of pregnancy,” and has a life-of-mother exception, found 70 percent for a ban.

The Supreme Court will question all of these findings when they hear this case, and while the court has typically chosen to uphold prior precedent in the case of abortion, this time the outcome could be different.

Newly appointed justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito could tip the balance of the court enough that partial-birth abortions may become illegal.

Let’s hope so. A plurality of individuals and doctors in this country believe that this procedure is morally and ethically wrong in almost every circumstance. Here’s hoping that the court is not intimidated by extremist groups like NARAL Pro-Choice America and reaches a lucid and judicious decision based on evidence and facts. If they do not, then the concept of justice may as well be thrown right out the window along with the baby’s life.

Send comments to Dan at [email protected].

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