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Partial Birth Abortion Ban

QUESTION: What are the facts on the partial birth abortion ban?


The partial-birth abortion ban is a hotly contested current political, legal, and cultural issue. The US Congress passed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (H.R. 760, S. 3) by a wide margin in October 2003 and it was signed into law by President Bush in November. Within hours of becoming law, judges in New York City, San Francisco, and Lincoln Nebraska blocked it from taking force. The ban has yet to be enforced pending legal challenges.

The Justice Department made it clear that it will fight for the federal ban. President Bush stated, "We will continue to defend the law to protect new innocent life" and "affirm a basic standard of humanity, the duty of the strong to protect the weak." Previously, more than 30 states had passed partial-birth abortion ban laws that were subsequently struck down by the Supreme Court in a narrow 5 to 4 decision who disregarded what 30 state legislatures and two thirds of the American people believed was right. This is why the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was written and passed into law.

The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act banned partial-birth abortions except when it is necessary to save the life of the mother and calls for a two-year jail term for violators. Pro-abortion supporters have argued that the government was determining the safest and best treatment for patients with no knowledge of the medical circumstances. Abortionists have also argued that "according to responsible opinion, there are times when the banned procedure is medically necessary."

But in reality, as former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and other eminent medical authorities told Congress: "Partial-birth abortion is never medically necessary to protect the mother's health or her future fertility. On the contrary, this procedure can pose a significant threat to both." Also, Jay Sekulow of the Center for Law and Justice said the "so-called health exception" is a false argument aimed at undermining a "law designed to end (a) horrific procedure."

A partial-birth abortion is performed in the second or third trimester and entails inducing a breech delivery with forceps, delivering the legs, arms, and torso only, puncturing the back of the skull with a scissors or trochar, inserting a suction catheter into the skull, sucking out the contents of the skull so as to collapse it and completing the delivery by removing the collapsed skull.

A January 2003 Gallop poll found that 70% favored a ban on partial-birth abortion with only 25% against it. If the partial-birth abortion procedure would be shown on prime time TV, the current 70% against it would likely climb up into the 90% range. Neither the public nor the women undergoing the procedure are fully exposed to the how horrific the procedure is and how much excruciating pain and suffering the unborn baby experiences.

The pro-abortionists do not have consideration for the welfare of the unborn child in any of their arguments. They use false and unsubstantiated pregnancy health issues as a basis for "on demand" late term partial-birth abortions. The pro-life supporters consider both the mother and the unborn baby in their arguments.

The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) put out a statement commenting on the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. This act simply states that babies born alive are persons. The NARAL comments effectively sanction the killing of unwanted (by the mother) babies that survive an abortion attempt. Abortionists are now condoning infanticide.

Learn More about Partial Birth Abortion

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