"THE ELECTED BRANCHES OF OUR GOVERNMENT HAVE AFFIRMED A BASIC STANDARD OF HUMANITY"

 

Instead of an extended commentary, let me just give you a sampling of reports and opinion on the momentous events of recent weeks. Mostly, they speak for themselves.

 

* October 21, 2003 - - a date to remember

The Senate on Tuesday [10/21/03] voted [64 to 34] to ban the practice that critics call partial-birth abortion, sending President Bush a measure that supporters and foes alike said could alter the future of U.S. abortion rights.

"This is an enormous day. It's been a long seven-year fight about the issue of partial-birth abortion," said Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan. He was a leader of the drive to end abortions, generally carried out in the second or third trimester, in which a fetus is partially delivered before being killed. [Note that the word "killed" is actually used in describing an abortion.]

-AP wire story, 10/21/03 (on MSNBC.com: "Senate votes to ban abortion practice")

 

Six days after the feeding tube of a brain-damaged woman [Terri Schiavo] was removed in a case pitting her husband against her parents, Gov. Jeb Bush ordered it reinserted on Tuesday after the Legislature empowered him to do so. The extraordinary step overrides years of court rulings.

-Abby Goodnough in the New York Times, 10/21/03 ("Governor of Florida orders woman fed in right-to-die case")

 

* 30 years after the Supreme Court wrongly legalized a variety of criminal "medical" procedures in Roe v. Wade, Senator Lautenberg has lost all bearings

 

The president, said Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., "will become the first United States president to criminalize a safe medical procedure." Doctors [abortionists] who violate the ban would be subject to prison terms of up to two years.

-AP wire story, 10/21/03 (on MSNBC.com: "Senate votes to ban abortion practice")

 

* November 5, 2003: the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 becomes law

In passing this legislation, members of the House and Senate made a studied decision based upon compelling evidence.

The facts about partial-birth abortion are troubling and tragic, and no lawyer's brief can make them seem otherwise. By acting to prevent this practice, the elected branches of government have affirmed a basic standard of humanity, the duty of the strong to protect the weak. The wide agreement amongst men and women on this issue, regardless of political party, shows that bitterness in political debate can be overcome by compassion and the power of conscience. And the executive branch will vigorously defend the law against any who would try to overturn it in the courts.

The late Pennsylvania Governor Robert Casey once said that: when we look to the unborn child, the real issue is not when life begins, but when love begins. This is the generous and merciful spirit of our country at its best.

This spirit is reflected in the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, which I am now honored to sign into law.

-from President George W. Bush's remarks before signing the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 (11/5/03)

 

* Willful cluelessness and stubborn media bias

There is no procedure in medicine known as "partial birth" abortion. ... Women come to Planned Parenthood because we tell them the truth [not a typo!] .

-Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in the Tallahassee Democrat, 10/29/03 ("Partial birth abortion act endangers lives of women")

 

Although abortion opponents call the procedure "partial-birth abortion," that is not a medical term. [See below.]

-David Stout in the New York Times, 11/5/03 ("President signs bill that prohibits type of abortion")

 

* Search in the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, accessible on the MEDLINEplus web site:

 

1. partial-birth abortion: "an abortion in the second or third trimester of pregnancy in which the death of the fetus is induced after it has passed partway through the birth canal."

2. intact dilation and extraction: "No entries found"

3. D & X: "No entries found"

 

* Framing the debate

For many of those [normally pro-abortion] senators, the issue was sealed years ago when abortion opponents coined the term "partial birth" for a procedure that doctors call intact dilation and extraction.

"They ran away with this debate in the public domain by constantly describing this procedure," said Kate Michelman, president of Naral Pro-Choice America, one of three advocacy groups that intended to challenge the measure in court. She added, "Politicians got nervous."

-Sheryl Gay Stolberg in the New York Times, 10/29/03 ("Abortion vote leaves many in the Senate conflicted")

 

The battle was lost once the procedure in question was labeled "partial birth abortion." The vote to ban it was inevitable once the public accepted as truth the grotesque picture of a healthy, live infant pulled from a woman's womb in order to be killed. [Against the truth, as shown in our pictures, our opponents could only produce lie after lie after lie - - maybe that is why "the battle was lost."]

-Joan Vennochi, columnist in the Boston Globe, 10/29/03 ("Abortion foes won by framing the debate")

 

* The pro-abortionists will strike back

Kate Michelman, president of Naral Pro-Choice America, said she believed that Mr. Bush's signing of the legislation on Wednesday before several hundreds cheering lawmakers and opponents of abortion, would serve as a "wake-up" call to voters who support abortion rights.

-Robin Toner in the New York Times, 11/6/03 ("For G.O.P., abortion bill signing is a moment")

 

Planned Parenthood is planning a major rally for next April. "This is not unexpected," Gloria Feldt, the organization's president, said referring to the Senate vote, "but it's also a good time to recognize what a historic day this is."

-Sheryl Gay Stolberg in the New York Times, 10/21/03 ("Senate approves bill to prohibit type of abortion")

 

Historic day, indeed!