Building on Success
By Dave Andrusko
It’s as if there’s a timer somewhere and when the alarm goes off we know another story describing/lamenting the unwillingness of the Abortion Establishment to take “fetal-pain” laws to court will appear. By this they are referring to laws that generally prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Only one—the law in Arizona—has been challenged, as Kathryn Smith explains in her POLITICO story titled, “Abortion-rights groups absent on fetal pain laws.” That law was upheld by U.S. District Judge James A. Teilborg but then temporarily put on hold by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals until a pending appeal is decided.
So why have pro-abortionists almost entirely taken a pass? One explanation is the Supreme Court.
Smith asked Donna Crane, policy director for NARAL Pro-Choice America, “if the abortion-rights community would be nervous about the outcome of the case if it were to travel to the Supreme Court “? Smith tells us Crane “chose her words carefully” and responded, “There’s no question that this Supreme Court as remade by George Bush is very hostile to reproductive rights.”
NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson also is quoted in Smith’s story. “I believe the pro-abortion litigation strategists are afraid to set off another chain of litigation that would go to the Supreme Court,” he said. Why? “They’re afraid that these laws would be upheld.”
But NARAL and the rest of the “abortion rights” community is well aware a judge would not need to be appointed by President George W. Bush to find such laws constitutional. They need only to be open to where the latest scientific research is taking the debate.
In upholding the Arizona law, Judge Teilborg found that “by 20 weeks, sensory receptors develop all over the child’s body” and “when provoked by painful stimuli, such as a needle, the child reacts, as measured by increases in the child’s stress hormones, heart rate, and blood pressure.” Teilborg quoted a U.S. Supreme Court decision describing the D&E method of abortion used at this age: “[F]riction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus . . .”
He described another abortion method also used: “In an induction procedure, the fetus is injected with a medication that induces a heart attack.’” Judge Teilborg concluded, “Given the nature of D &Es and induction abortions . . . this Court concludes that the State has shown a legitimate interest in limiting abortions past 20 weeks gestational age.”
Whatever the public’s overall view on the legality of abortion, Smith writes, people have “moral qualms” about abortion. She adds
“A campaign built around a particularly disturbing image — ‘partial birth’ or ‘fetal pain’ — can strike at that ambivalence and undercut support. Proponents of fetal-pain bills choose words and imagery designed to make people recoil — words like ‘excruciating,’ ‘gruesome,’ and ‘pain-capable unborn children.’”
Which, of course, is to misrepresent the point entirely. If the child is capable of feeling pain—which more and more studies demonstrate is the case—saying so is simply to state the truth (www.nrlc.org/abortion/Fetal_Pain/Fetal-Pain-The-Evidence.pdf) .
Take a look at an entirely matter-of-fact medical illustration of a “D&E” abortion, the “technique” used in almost all these cases (www.nrlc.org/abortion/pba/DEabortiongraphic.html). As the child’s limbs are torn off, one by one, and the head crushed, “gruesome” is the least graphic of the descriptions one might use.
And an equally reserved drawing of what takes place in a partial-birth abortion was enough to drive pro-abortionists to scream bloody murder, so to speak (www.nrlc.org/abortion/pba/PBA_Images/PBA_Images_Heathers_Place.htm) .
People have eyes; they could see what was happening, which is why pro-abortionists scream so loudly.
Whether it be winning over the judicial system or winning over the public, the truth is each victory builds on a preceding victory. “The debate over the partial-birth abortion did change the minds of a lot of people,” Johnson said. “We do see [the premise of fetal pain] as a continuation of the debate over partial-birth abortion.“
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