“Shannen Coffin alleges that while in the Clinton White House, Elena Kagan somehow got the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to change the language in its report on partial birth abortion, from a finding that it “could identify no circumstances under which this procedure . . . would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman” to something which made the ban sound considerably more harmful. I don’t have a particular dog in this fight–I don’t think these questions should be handled at the federal level either way–but it seems pretty inappropriate for the White House to be intervening in this sort of statement. I’m not surprised the White House did it; I never thought there was anything particularly partisan about attempts to manipulate science to fit a political narrative. But I’m rather surprised that ACOG went along.” — Megan McArdle, more can be found here.
Archive for the 'Abortion' Category
“Liberals sometimes argue that their preferred approach to family life reduces the need for abortion. In reality, it may depend on abortion to succeed. The teen pregnancy rate in blue Connecticut, for instance, is roughly identical to the teen pregnancy rate in red Montana. But in Connecticut, those pregnancies are half as likely to be carried to term. Over all, the abortion rate is twice as high in New York as in Texas and three times as high in Massachusetts as in Utah.” —Ross Douthat, writing in the New York Times, more here.
“The truth is that bills now before Congress don’t require federal money to be used for supporting abortion coverage. So the president is right to that limited extent. But it’s equally true that House and Senate legislation would allow a new “public” insurance plan to cover abortions, despite language added to the House bill that technically forbids using public funds to pay for them.” — FactCheck.Org, arguing that Obama was not being completely honest about the claim that his healthcare will not cover abortions
“What kind of America do we want our beloved nation to be? Barack Obama’s America is one in which being human just isn’t enough to warrant care and protection. It is an America where the unborn may legitimately be killed without legal restriction, even by the grisly practice of partial-birth abortion. It is an America where a baby who survives abortion is not even entitled to comfort care as she dies on a stainless steel table or in a soiled linen bin. It is a nation in which some members of the human family are regarded as inferior and others superior in fundamental dignity and rights. In Obama’s America, public policy would make a mockery of the great constitutional principle of the equal protection of the law. In perhaps the most telling comment made by any candidate in either party in this election year, Senator Obama, when asked by Rick Warren when a baby gets human rights, replied: ”that question is above my pay grade.” It was a profoundly disingenuous answer: For even at a state senator’s pay grade, Obama presumed to answer that question with blind certainty. His unspoken answer then, as now, is chilling: human beings have no rights until infancy – and if they are unwanted survivors of attempted abortions, not even then.” — Robert George, professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University
“Barack Obama is the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the office of President of the United States. He is the most extreme pro-abortion member of the United States Senate. Indeed, he is the most extreme pro-abortion legislator ever to serve in either house of the United States Congress.” — Robert George, professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University
The editorial pages of the WSJ report:
…it seems as if the Democrats have accomplished the impossible: They have moved to the left on abortion.
On the party’s platform, the Democrats dropped the words “safe, legal and rare,” the phrase used most famously by both Bill and Hillary Clinton to signal moderation on the issue. The Democrats also added the modifier “unequivocally” to strengthen their support for abortion rights. As if there were any doubt about the message that these changes send to the party’s radical factions, here is feminist Linda Hirshman celebrating in a piece for Slate: “With the release of the new platform, the emancipation of women may once again become a legitimate political position.”
Some conservative Democrats and a few leaders on the religious left have cited other shifts, such as the inclusion of access to “family planning services” and “age-appropriate sex education” in the platform, as evidence that the party is softening its stance. But phrases like “sex education” and “family planning,” especially when uttered by government officials, rarely warm the hearts of conservative, religious Americans.
If Democrats had wanted to “make room” for pro-lifers, they could have. One proposal for the platform was a statement of “conscience” — that is, language noting that people of good conscience can disagree on abortion. This was rejected by the platform writers.
David Freddoso writing in the National Review reports:
On March 30, 2001, Obama was the only senator to speak in opposition to a bill that would have banned the practice of leaving premature abortion survivors to die. The bill, SB 1095, was carefully limited, its language unambiguous. It applied only to premature babies, already born alive. It stated simply that under Illinois law, “the words ‘person,’ ‘human being,’ ‘child,’ and ‘individual’ include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development.”
Two related bills introduced that day included slightly more controversial provisions about liability and medical procedure, but SB 1095 did not go nearly that far. This bill did not apply to those not born, nor did it grant born persons anything beyond recognition of their rights as persons.
Under this bill, SB 1095, babies born alive during an abortion would have to be treated just like every other baby that is born alive and prematurely — not left to die as at Christ Hospital, but given treatment according to an acting physician’s medical judgment as to what is necessary and what is possible — the same standard that applies to any other human being.
There was no legal conflict between this bill and the right to legal abortion, but Barack Obama was still uneasy with the idea. He and 11 other senators would vote “present” in a strategy worked out with Planned Parenthood lobbyists (“present” votes in the Illinois senate essentially count as “no” votes). The bill would pass the Senate easily with a bipartisan majority, only to die in a House committee.
The full article can be found here.
“A lot of Republican leaders could care less about Roe and would prefer, if anything, to see it upheld, and even if Roe were overturned abortion would remain legal in most of the country. Nonetheless, it remains the case for all the pro-choice sympathies of leading GOPers, the Republican Party nearly succeeded in overturning Roe v. Wade fifteen years ago, and would have if one man – Anthony Kennedy – hadn’t changed his mind about the issue at the last minute. It also remains the case that the Bush Administration has seemingly brought to Supreme Court within a single vote of undoing what Kennedy wrought in 1992. It further remains the case that while overturning Roe wouldn’t magically restore us to some Ozzie-and-Harriet wonderland, returning control over abortion law to the hands of the voting public remains a necessary goal for any pro-life, socially-conservative politics that takes itself seriously as a change agent in American life. And it further remains the case that to vote for Barack Obama in 2008 is to give up on overturning Roe for at least a decade, probably for two, and possibly for all time. These realities may not require pro-lifers to vote for John McCain, but they deserve more serious consideration…” — Ross Douthat, blogging in The Atlantic on the connection between Pro-lifers and the GOP
“When I first came to understand that Roe v. Wade was logically incompatible with the idea that babies had a right to life, I feared that if this decision were to stand it would eventually lead to the erosion, if not the complete abandonment, of the idea on which this country was founded, that “all men are created equal, with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Or as a Christian would put it, that it would destroy the concept of the “sanctity of life”. As Richard Weaver said, ideas have consequences. It would seem that my fears have been tragically borne out. It is now necessary to argue, almost on a case-by-case basis, for respecting human rights that have heretofore been taken for granted. The progress of the last two millennia in this area are now being reversed. We seem to be plunging headlong back into barbarism, ignoring the hard-won wisdom embedded in the moral understandings developed over many centuries of human experience. Everything must be learned anew; we must start with a blank slate and work out everything for ourselves with no regard for what has come before. This is madness. If we persist in this arrogance it can only lead to our destruction”. —bd-from-kg, on a discussion forum at the Secular Web in the later part of the year 2000
It took Republicans having control of the Senate, the House, the Presidency and to nominate two Supreme Court justices to finally get this gruesome procedure banned. If Democrats had controlled anyone of these, they would have prevented its passage.
The Supreme Court decision to uphold the ban is a great sign for women, for unborn children, and for humanity at large. Read the news release here.
Update: The Wall Street Journal has more.
“What the Holocaust taught me – as did communism – is that the denial of God can lead to genocide. There is a German scholar who wrote that one of the main reasons for Hitler’s ravenous anti-Semitism was that Judaism was the first religion to believe in the sanctity of human life. Judaism says that human beings are made in the image of God. That stood in the way of Hitler’s hatred and desire to kill people. As Stalin is reported to have once said, “No people, no problem.””–Dr. Richard Pipes, acclaimed Russian historian and Harvard professor of Sovietology, who as a Jew escaped Hitler Germany because of his wise father
“I notice that the liberals within the Catholic Church are a big part of the organizing brains and muscle behind the huge illegal immigrant rallies in cities across the U.S. They are arguing that it is unkind and un-Christian to want to arrest people who have entered America illegally. They also fear prosecution if aiders and abettors are criminalized since they aid and abet illegal immigrants. This is fine, and obviously a man does not sign away his First Amendment rights if he takes orders. But isn’t this obviously Church interference in legal and political matters? How come this church involvement with the huge political issue of illegal immigration is fine and dandy — but involvement by conservative members of the Catholic faith in trying to save the lives of the unborn, the sick, and the deformed is a dangerous intrusion over the “wall” between church and state? How can illegal immigration be considered a bigger moral issue than the killing of tens of millions of the unborn who are totally innocent of any crime? The hypocrisy of the left on this issue is staggering”. —Ben Stein, publishing his random thoughts in the American Spectator
“You cannot morally treat children, or fetuses, as if they have the same rights and obligations as human adults; they have fewer freedoms, but more entitlements. Children are not only uniquely vulnerable, but also uniquely innocent; that fetus did not ask to be in your body, and has no means at his disposal to get out and stop bothering you. Trying to reason his fate from principles designed for consenting adults is neither practical nor morally just. Moreover, any society that did try to treat children and fetuses as adults, in the way that my commenters are advocating, would not be long for this earth. Evolution does not take cognizance of how beautifully consistently you have reasoned from first principles when it decides what behaviours will survive”. —Jane Galt, In a post titled, “Why children are a special libertarian case”
“Making the less-than-heroic assumption that legalizing abortion did not make it suddenly less prevalent, the most conservative analysis of the impact of Roe would suggest that it increased the pregnancy rate by 30%, the abortion rate by more than 50%. In other words, the effect of Roe dwarfs any other effect we have seen on either out-of-wedlock pregnancy, or abortions…Contrary to popular belief, it was penicillin, not Roe, which ended the high death rate from backdoor abortions”. —Jane Galt, Defending her position that sex education does little to nothing at reducing the number of abortions
“Education works by countering ignorance. That’s why initial anti-smoking education worked well. But after people knew that smoking caused cancer, telling them so again didn’t much deter them. Likewise, once people know how to get pregnant, and how to prevent it, telling them so more elaborately doesn’t get you much bang for your buck”.– Jane Galt, Defending her views that more sex ed will do little to nothing in reducing abortions
“The Democrats are trying to “reframe” their message to make people think they believe abortion is wrong. I think this is going to be a hard sell if they plan to continue ferociously defending abortion-on-demand right up until the moment the baby’s head is through the birth canal”. —Ann Coulter