Partial Birth Abortion

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Partial Birth Abortion A little over six years ago, Brenda Pratt Shafer, a registered nurse with thirteen years of experience, was assigned by her nursing agency to an abortion clinic. Since Nurse Shafer considered herself "very pro-choice," she didn’t think this assignment would be a problem; however, she soon realized how wrong she was. “The doctor delivered the baby’s body and arms, everything but his little head. The baby’s body was moving. The doctor took a pair of scissors and inserted them into the back of the baby’s head, and the baby’s arms jerked out in a flinch. Then he stuck the high-powered suction tube into the hole and sucked the baby’s brains out. Now the baby was completely limp (Partial Birth Abortion – All sides 1).” While these third trimester or partial birth abortions only occur in 1% of all abortions (Partial 2), Ron Fitsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers estimates that three to four thousand partial birth abortions are performed annually in the United State; about ten a day. As of December 1998, only 23 states have passed anti-partial birth abortion (PBA) laws (Kellman 1). However, with the exception of Virginia, all have been declared unconstitutional or suspended until pending law suites have been settled. This means that everyday ten babies three inches from birth are murdered legally. If the doctor were to birth these babies just three more inches, this procedure would be infanticide. It is not only ridiculous that these living breathing babies be murdered, but that their murder is legal. Partial birth abortions are the political “third rail”; no one wants to touch them for fear of being fried. Republican and Conservative politicians have repeatedly proposed seemingly noble legislation outlawing partial birth abortions, but the legislation’s vague wording, which often implies the illegality of any abortion, leads to the inevitable Presidential veto or the Supreme Court’s declaration of unconstitutionality. Democratic and Liberal counter-proposals also include vague wording, which can be interpreted to dissolve the intent of the law. Partial birth abortions are the legal murder of innocent, living babies. It is time that legislatures stop playing political “hot-potato” with the issue of partial birth abortion, and pass legislation that will take a definite stance on this issue and make partial birth abortions illegal. The United States Congress isn’t the only legislature having difficulty passing PBA legislation; state legislatures are facing issues of unconstitutionality as well.
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