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stephy

Ban on Partial Birth Abortions

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I know I said I was going to leave, but I figured this topic would be good for discussing.

 

 

I got the article from CNN.com

 

Bush signs ban on late-term abortion

Nebraska judge raises constitutional questions

Wednesday, November 5, 2003 Posted: 3:17 PM EST (2017 GMT)

 

 

 

As members of congress look on, President Bush signs the Partial Birth Abortion Act of 2003 Wednesday.

 

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Story Tools

 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush signed legislation Wednesday banning a certain type of abortion, handing the disputed procedure's opponents a long-sought victory even as a federal judge at least partially blocked the new law from taking effect.

 

"For years, a terrible form of violence has been directed against children who are inches from birth while the law looked the other way," Bush said as he signed the ban on a procedure called partial-birth abortion by its critics. "Today at last the American people and our government have confronted the violence and come to the defense of the innocent child."

 

The White House staged the ceremony, before about 400 cheering lawmakers and abortion opponents, at a federal building named for former President Ronald Reagan, a strong supporter of anti-abortion groups. An "Amen" was heard from the audience as Bush sat down at a desk, before a row of American flags, to sign the bill passed last month by Congress.

 

But less than an hour after Bush put his pen to paper, a federal judge in Nebraska sharply questioned the law's constitutionality and issued a limited temporary restraining order against it. U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf said he was concerned that the ban contains no exception if the woman's health is at risk as he issued an injunction applied only to the four doctors who brought the suit.

 

"While it is also true that Congress found that a health exception is not needed, it is, at the very least, problematic whether I should defer to such a conclusion when the Supreme Court has found otherwise," Kopf said.

 

Besides Nebraska, hearings were also being held in San Francisco and New York City Wednesday on similar challenges.

 

Fully aware of the impending legal obstacles, Bush said, to a standing ovation and the longest round of applause during his brief remarks: "The executive branch will vigorously defend this law against any who would try to overturn it in the courts."

 

The president's signature represented an end to a legislative crusade that began after Republicans captured the House in 1995. Former President Clinton twice vetoed similar bills, arguing that they lacked an exception to protect the health of the mother.

 

The law, approved by the House and Senate late last month, prohibits doctors from committing an "overt act" designed to kill a partially delivered fetus and allows no exception if the woman's health is at risk, or if the child would be born with ailments. The procedure, which usually involves puncturing the fetus' skull, is generally performed in the second or third trimester.

 

Aware of its backing among the religious conservatives that make up a key portion of his base of political support, the president declared himself pleased to sign legislation he said would help him and others "build a culture of life" in America. To that end, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the president supports additional legislative moves -- which he did not specify -- to further restrict abortion.

 

"This right to life cannot be granted or denied by government, because it does not come from government -- it comes from the creator of life," the president said, receiving another lengthy standing ovation.

 

But Bush is also mindful of the more moderate voters he cannot afford to alienate, and last week repeated a position he offered during his 2000 campaign. He said he would not seek a total ban on abortion because public opinion had not yet shifted to support such a move.

 

The new law is similar to a Nebraska statute struck down by the Supreme Court three years ago and imposes the most far-reaching limits on abortion since the high court in 1973 established a woman's right to end a pregnancy.

 

Supporters argue the law applies only to a procedure done late in pregnancy -- and relatively rarely -- and that the procedure is never necessary to protect the health of the mother.

 

"As Congress has found, the practice is widely regarded within the medical profession as unnecessary, not only cruel to the child, but harmful to the mother and a violation of medical ethics," Bush said.

 

Overly broad language

But abortion-rights groups say the law has overly broad language that could criminalize several safe and common procedures, and fear it represents the first step in a larger campaign to eventually bar all abortions.

 

Outside the ceremony, the National Organization for Women conducted a protest of about 50 to 100 activists who chanted and held signs saying "Keep Abortion Legal" and "saveroe.com" -- a Web site named for the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing the procedure.

 

On Capitol Hill, critics urged the courts to declare the ban unconstitutional at a news conference outside the Supreme Court.

 

"President Bush and Congress have no business inserting themselves between American women and their doctors," said Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-New York.

 

 

I want to know how you guys feel about this. I don't want to know if you're pro-choice or not, I want to know how you feel about someones right to make a choice being taken away? Granted, partial birth abortions are inhumane, I still believe it's a her body her right her choice type of thing.

 

“the right to life cannot be granted or denied by government.” Is what Bush declared as signing the bill. Now correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the banning of partial birth abortions granting the right to life by the government? I understand it all depends on if you believe the fetus is life at conception or not (which is a moral debate and it's not the governments responsibility to force morals upon us). I also believe (after reading the article a few times) Bush basically said that the fetus inside the mother is a life. If he didn't believe that it is a life, he wouldn't care if partial birth abortions are or aren't "cruel to the fetus". Him stating that it's cruel to the fetus leads me to believe that he believes the fetus inside a mother is life. If it wasn't life, how could be cruel to it? That's like saying cutting up paper (assuming you don't believe of disbelief that paper is life) is cruel to the paper. Also, if he didn't believe it was life, there would be no reason for him to sign the legislation to ban partial birth abortions. Technically they shouldn't even be referred to that since we're not trying to allude to the "fetus" having or not having life.

 

Also, these women who are losing this choice are still going to go about the partial birth abortions, just not in a safe or legal manner. It will just be done like it was back when abortion in general was illegal. I would rather see it done safely than unsafely.

 

I would also like to point out that I in no way whatsoever approve of abortion, however I do not approve of this ban.

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bump this up, for some reason it didn't show on the active topics. I'll respond after lunch

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Bah, my one attempt at a real discussion and no one wants to discuss.

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Well, I think that the reason people are slow to respond is because this is a very emotive topic...a real hot potato. I have my own views about abortion which I tend not to discuss because I believe it's a very personal judgement. But I will say this...I think it's a very uncomfortable state of affairs to be able to abort foetuses at a late stage when modern medicine can keep prem babies as early as 22-24 weeks alive. It's probably very distressing for medical staff to be present in these circumstances too, even though they're only "doing their job". I have heard the horror stories....of aborted foetuses that were breathing etc. and I can't imagine a more difficult and distressing situation if it's true.

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Abortion is a moral choice that should be made by the mother, not the government. I'm not taking a stance for or against abortion with the comment, only saying that the choice should not be in the hands of the government.

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So if you were walking down the street and somebody was being stabbed to death in an alley, would you turn the other way and say "thats their moral choice"?? This is murder and the government should most certainly be involved. I dont understand why anyone would be pro-choice(pro-death).

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quack said in post #6 :

So if you were walking down the street and somebody was being stabbed to death in an alley, would you turn the other way and say "thats their moral choice"?? This is murder and the government should most certainly be involved. I dont understand why anyone would be pro-choice(pro-death).

counter argument:

So if you were walking down the street and somebody was being raped in an alley, would you turn the other way and say "at least they will have a happy life with a beutiful baby"??This is... i can't think of a simple word to describe it..., and the rapee should be able to at least partially undo that horrible experience.

 

there are many ways to think about this:

 

most organisms try to find the best genetic material for their offspring, and want to have children that they can fully say is their own. if genetic material is forced into you, would you want to raise it. you would know that that person't genetic material is inferior, having the unstable mentality that resulted to rape. why would you want to raise an inferior baby?

 

it is a life, and all life should have the chance to live and prove themselves.

 

birth is a painful experience that no one wants to go through unwillingly. if against one's will, the mother will not be mentally and/or physically ready for raising the child, and could make poor decisions that will make the child live a terrible life.

if the mother is not ready, they could go through that painful experience and give the baby up for adoption.

generally, once they see the baby, they don't want to give it up to a potentially worse life or death.

 

the world is getting overcrowded anyway, so one life won't matter.

 

... and a few others that i am unaware of or haven't mentioned.

 

 

 

in my opinion:

 

it is a moral decision that the mother should make. knowing full well that it is a life, and it could be a good or bad life. also with knowlege of what is likely to happen if they do or don't have an abortion.

 

the government should not make that decision for people because 1) governments are notoriously, steryotypically wrong; and 2) what right does the government have to say that a person must give birth.

 

people should be able to chose what genetic material they want to pass on to future generations. without natural selection, there is little or no medium-scale evolution, and our species will not advance very far.

 

 

P.S. something i don't understand is why does the majority want to have privacy from the government, but many, many people want the government to make all decisions, including very personal ones, for them.

 

P.P.S. in my opinion, and the dictionary's, taking life is much different from refusing to give life.

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fafalone said in post #5 :

Abortion is a moral choice that should be made by the mother, not the government. I'm not taking a stance for or against abortion with the comment, only saying that the choice should not be in the hands of the government.

 

I agree with that. Moreover, as the article stated, the language of the legislation is too broad and all encompassing. It makes no provision for those occasions where the life of the mother is at significant risk. The first mother who dies unnecessarily will (by the same argument the anti abortion lobby uses) make murderers of the government.

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This is true, but do you think the government cares? The government supports the death penalty and infact has it's very own capital punishment system.

 

Bush is a murderer as far as I'm concerned (just look what he did as governer of Texas) thus it is very hypocritical of him to sit here and tell future mothers they can't have partial birth abortions because it is cruel to the fetus. :rolleyes:

 

 

The first mother who dies unnecessarily will (by the same argument the anti abortion lobby uses) make murderers of the government.

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Is it really because it's cruel to the foetus, or is it because it's cruel to his public image?

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It's because it's what the people that might vote for Bush want. The moderates are probably all muttering about the war, so he's roping in the fundies for the next election. Yeehaw.

 

I don't like taking anyones rights away, but I'm not convinced that foetuses should be devoid of them.

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Sayonara³ said in post #10 :

Is it really because it's cruel to the foetus, or is it because it's cruel to his public image?

 

 

Huh? :confused:

 

 

 

 

 

Skye, I was thinking the same thing. I bet he probably doesn't even really care about the unborn child or anything, he just wants votes.

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I don't see how using religious and opinionated crap arguments like that won Bush the right to sign that, but it's wrong.

 

it is the mothers choice whether to have the child or not. As was stated earlier, if the mother isn't ready for it/can't take care of it, the child will have a very miserable life indeed. Also, this will put more and more teenagers and young women, of whom can't learn the reason for protection, on the welfare system, or at least out on the streets.

 

what does society see time and again (and is shocked by) when a mother just can't handle her child? Then they get all indignant and say "well then you shouldn't have had it"

 

:rolleyes:

 

EDITED: because squintz has a point

:embarass:

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I really wasn`t going to get involved in this thread at all, but a thought occured to me.

for a start it`s against the American Constitution, those Constitutional rights of the people of America have saved a good many more lives than it has taken (I wish we had the same here in the UK actualy).

I despise the idea of unecesary abortion, I really do! BUT... who better than a Mother to know what`s best for her child than herself... certainly not any politician that knows little about REAL LIFE other than statistics and numbers on a monthly sheet of paper!

I beleive the choice should be left to the individual, whether that choice be right OR wrong, it is then up to them to face the consequences whatever they may be.

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What do they consider partial birth abortion. I would say that in a mater of life or death only or if the baby will be born with some sort of mental retardation that would make him or her miserable all their life should the baby be aborted after the third trimester other than that the women should only be able to abort before the third trimester.

 

You wanna stop abortion... Make the women and mean have a sonogram right before the abortion and let them listen to the heart beat i bet half of them would change their mind. Of couse this can only be done after the baby is big enough and the heart starts beating.

 

My personal opinion. If the hearts not beating its not alive yet. Its simply a cell multiplying which technically is a living organism but it probably does not feel pain at this poin in time and it probably would have never know it was going to be born anyways. If the heart is beating then it is murder. But if its just a multiplying cell then you only killing a cell and not a human.

 

My final thought is that i remain neutral on the subject. I have equal pros and cons.

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OK, first of all lets not do any bashing on this forum. Its a clean learning disucssing environment and lets keep it that way. I understand the need to vent, but keep it somewhat professional.

With that said, my personal stance is that this is NOT the governments decision to make, I do think that people should be able to decide whether to have a baby or not. Also like some have mentioned rape and sexual assult sometimes cause the onset of pregnancy that was not willful. Also, this may seem unethical and cruel, but the fact of the matter is that sometimes its better to abort because 1, if you look at the sociaeconomic statistics of who gets abortions and who gets pregnant unintentionally, most of these people are of the lower class and if they are not ready to raise a child, the child will most likely become some nusience to society. (Criminal, Homeless etc). Obviously this isnt the case for every child but overall there is a general pattern, so I feel abortion is a better choice in that respect. Also abortion is not the same as murdering a child. First of all when its at its embryotic level of development, there is no certainty that it will even survive. Second a lot of potential abortion cases involve subjects who use drugs and alchol, thus birth defects are possible, and third killing a baby is mudering something already in existance that has pain and sensation, at the embryotic stage, its nieve to call it life in my opinion.

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M-CaTZ said in post #16 :

better to abort because 1, if you look at the sociaeconomic statistics of who gets abortions and who gets pregnant unintentionally, most of these people are of the lower class and if they are not ready to raise a child, the child will most likely become some nusience to society.

 

I see your point (see the random sterilization thread), however, we might as well kill poor children too, because they are more likely to grow up and live in poverty.

 

M-CaTZ said in post #16 :

Also abortion is not the same as murdering a child. First of all when its at its embryotic level of development, there is no certainty that it will even survive.

 

Partial birth abortions are carried out in the second or third trimester, and thus it is more than an embryo, it is a fetus.

 

M-CaTZ said in post #16 :

...and third killing a baby is mudering something already in existance that has pain and sensation, at the embryotic stage, its nieve to call it life in my opinion.

 

Fetus' do respond to stimuli. I'm sure Glider can expand a bit on some experiments regarding fetal conditioning.

 

http://www.cirp.org/library/psych/hepper1/

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until the umbilical cord is cut, babies are a parasite, living off of their mothers

:P

I think anybody has a right to have that removed

 

regardless of whether or not the babies heart is heard, if a person cannot take care of a child, they can't! The hearing of the heart beat may just cause more trauma to the situation at hand. I don't think you're taking into account that not all mothers terminate their pregnancy because they don't want to have the baby.

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I am factoring in that they may not want to have this done. Thats why i remain neutral on the subject. I think it should be controlled to a point... Give the parents a few weeks to think about the abortion and then have it done if it is for non medical reasons if it is for a medical reason which could harm the mother i say do what ever is neccesary to save either the mother or the child.

 

A mother has lived her life and will eventually die anyways... Chances are the mother knows where she is headed in life. If its a matter of wheather is the babys lif or the mothers life i say keep the life that will benifit the world the most. If the mother has no chance of finding a cure for something like aids then let the baby live because he or she still has a chance to become educated and find a cure.

 

This is a subject that i have always gone back and forth with and in reality im just about asure of the right answer to the question of whether god really exist. Nobody can look at every single abortion in the world and justify weather or not it is right or wrong it should be handled on a case to case bases. There should be laws but at the same time the mothers should have choices.

 

I dont think the courts and the rights activist are trying to compromise here they want all or nothing when they could have a little of both....

 

Time periods and methods of abortion should be set and abortion for medical purposes should be allowed and noted in the laws of abortion.

 

I like to look at it this way... If my mother had aborted me would i be upset. Probably not.... I wouldnt had known the difference... and most of the people against abortion are religous anyways and believe that earth is hell and heaven is wonderful so what so wrong about sending unborn babies to heaven. I myself dont know if there is a heaven but in english terms i do think earth is hell and i like living in hell but if i did not know what hell was then i would not care if i were here or not.

 

I hope i dont offend anyone i really think this topic is dangerous and am not sure if i should even participate but i will because i bored... Got to go home everyone... Talk to you on monday!

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Dudde said in post #18 :

until the umbilical cord is cut, babies are a parasite, living off of their mothers

:P

 

Indeed. However:

 

1) It was a risk they willingly took [assuming no rape] and undoubtedly understood the potential outcome

2) An infant requires its mother just as much as a fetus. Is it a mother's right to abandon her newborn because she doesn't want the "parasite"?

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Squintz said in post #15 :

You wanna stop abortion... Make the women and mean have a sonogram right before the abortion and let them listen to the heart beat i bet half of them would change their mind. Of couse this can only be done after the baby is big enough and the heart starts beating.

 

 

How is that going to stop a woman from having an abortion? Women don't go around having abortions for fun you know. It's not like they want to have one. Hearing the heart might make her feel even more guilt for having an abortion and make it harder on her, but I don't really think it would change the mind of most women who are looking to abort.

 

Though it shouldn't be used as a form of birthcontrol, abortion in any case should be legal.

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blike said in post #20 :

 

Indeed. However:

 

1) It was a risk they willingly took [assuming no rape] and undoubtedly understood the potential outcome

 

 

 

Everything we do involves consequences. Do you think your choices of resolution and/or options to take care of those consequences should be limited? I believe everyone should have every option available at their disposal so they can make the choice that best fits their needs/situation.

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I wasn't referring to that kind of living off of, I'm sure you know what I meant. If the child is indeed carried through, I don't think the mother should get rid of it, at all. Which is why I believe in the pro-abortion side, because a child is forever

 

It was a risk they willingly took [assuming no rape] and undoubtedly understood the potential outcome

 

that's a good point. Suppose conditions arise during the third trimester that would prevent the mother from properly caring for the child though? it's still not really a human life, and should not be forced upon anyone, especially by a hypocritical and uneducated president :P

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undoubtedly understood the potential outcome

sorry to be the third person to quote this...

 

often times, the parent does not understand the potential outcome. sometimes people don't understand the facts that the child is a temporary parasite, the birth is painful, and the costs of raising a child are high.

 

and, as dudde mentioned, problems could arise after the decision was made

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blike said in post #17 :

Fetus' do respond to stimuli. I'm sure Glider can expand a bit on some experiments regarding fetal conditioning.

This is true. There has been a lot of research on prenatal learning in foetuses. Newborns have been shown to respond preferentially to stimuli such as their mothers' smell and voice. This has been measured using both behavioural indexes and EEG mapping. Infants orient to cloth impregnated with their mothers' scent and to the sound of their mothers' voice. EEG revealed increased specific cortical activity in response to such stimuli. The upshot is that foetuses do learn pre-birth. There is even evidence to show that newborns respond preferentially to other environmental stimuli, not directly related to the mother, such as music the mother played played frequently during pregnancy. This stimuli signals a familiar environment, or 'home'.

 

However, the debate in this area is the level of psychology involved. This is particularly true in the debate surrounding whether or not foetuses feel pain (which requires higher psychological processes). For example, take an organism with no centralised nervous sytem, like aplesia (marine flatworm). It will withdaw its gill if you poke it. Does this mean it feels pain?

 

The basis of learning is neural plasticity (reinforcing certain 'pathways' in the brain). Repeated exposure to a certain stimulus will reinforce the pathway associated with processing that information. In other words, that particular stimulus will become familiar. It is clearly adaptive that a newborn has some way of recognising its mother, and orienting towards her, but this can be explained entirely in terms of neural plasticity and basic approach/avoidance responses to positive or negative stimuli (even cockroaches and flatworms show this function).

 

The question is; to what degree are higher level processes involved involved at this stage? A newborn orienting to it's mothers' scent, will also orient to a piece of cloth impregnated with its mothers' scent. Whilst it shows recognition of a stimulus (learned pre-nataly), it doesn't demonstrate any more than that, i.e. a recognition of 'mother', nor can we infer any particular explicit emotional response (i.e. a newborn orienting towards the smell of its mother does not demonstrate a liking for that scent, merely an adaptive behavioural response to a learned stimuli).

 

Whist neonates have been shown to be far more cognitively 'able' than previously thought, the main debate is; to what degree can these abilities be explained by basic (nonconscious) neural processes? and to what degree are higher (conscious) cognitive functions involved? I.e. do neonates do what they do because of simple 'programming' through associative learning on neural level, or is there also an element of awareness and choice? And if so, how much?

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