Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day.
As you may know, a number of states including Texas have placed major restrictions on abortions performed after 20 weeks. This week’s question: Do you agree with recent legislation in several states limiting late term abortions?
Rhymes With Right: I support these restrictions wholeheartedly. After all, they are consistent with Roe and its rationale that the state acquires a stronger right to regulate abortion the closer the child is to viability — because that child is undoubtedly a living human being that the state can and should protect.
Now some may point out Roe uses a trimester system for determining when a state may regulate abortion. Unfortunately for supporters of abortion, that logic was not based upon constitutional law, but upon the state of medical science in 1973. But over the last four decades, we have seen advances that make 20-22 weeks the point at which a child in utero becomes viable. As such, the courts are going to have to grapple with the reality that the bad law found in Roe is also bad science as well. As one of my professors (an ACLU board member at the time) agreed with me back during the Reagan years, the reliance of the Blackmun controlling opinion in Roe on medicine rather than the constitution makes Roe a decision inevitably on a collision course with itself. Well, today we have reached the point of collision.
So yes, these laws (including those in conservative hotbeds like New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts) will be challenged and some of them may be overturned at the District or Circuit Court levels. That will put them on course for the Supreme Court — which will have three choices. What they will not do is overturn the notion of abortion as a legal right — doing so would upset too many other cases because they depend upon the reasoning of Roe. So while the morally and constitutionally correct thing would be to strike down Roe as bad law, that won’t happen.They will either have to constitutionalize medicine as it stood in 1973, remove all restrictions from abortion, or (and this is the best choice) declare that advances in medicine have changed the time and manner for regulating abortion. What the Supreme Court will do will be dependent upon the whims of Justice Kennedy and any changes that take place in the court’s lineup between now and some future decision day in these cases.
Liberty’s Spirit: I have to say, along with 80% of the USA, that third trimester abortions are infanticide. 60% of society also thinks that second trimester abortions are infanticide as well. Science has proven that babies feel pain, suck their thumbs, play, burp, hiccup, respond to music and even their mother’s voices by the end of the 5th month of gestation. It is ignorant of the pro-abortion groups to continue to simply say that the only issue here is the right of the mother to do what she wants with her body. They fail to acknowledge that by the end of the second trimester there are two viable human lives at stake and that is exactly what makes this issue such a moral and ethical conundrum. Additionally the pro-abortionists fail to acknowledge that NO right is absolute. It is always a balancing act between competing interests. The same should be for abortion; the right(s) of the mother to life versus the right of a viable baby to be born.
I do not think that restrictions on late term abortions are necessarily good or bad. Quite frankly I think it depends on exactly what the exceptions happen to be. There are terrible genetic anomalies, which cannot be seen until after the 5th month of gestation. Sometimes there are such painful choices to be made during a pregnancy that it is simply heartrendering and these decision must be private. But for some advocates, on both sides of the issues, in order to get their own way, they like to make these issues simple but these issues are anything but simple or always clear.
Not all babies develop normally and at times terrible tragedies occur. There is no point in a baby developing without a brain or kidneys to be born. If they were born to what end? What about genetic testing for diseases like tay-sachs? Are the results of these tests known before the end of the 5th month? What is the point of allowing such horrible suffering to occur? What is the point of such a terrible death? If there is a more humane way for all to end the suffering then so be it.
But there are also additional issues with unfettered abortion. Gendercide, and the disrespect of the right to life of the disabled. While gendercide is illegal in the west, pro-abortion groups do not denounce it. Babies diagnosed with Down syndrome have a 98% chance of being aborted. Basically the disabled are thought to be less worthy of life. Doctors also think they know everything about the life of the disabled but they have been proven terribly wrong over the past decades too. Gendercide will lead to economic instability and procreative issues for future generations. Dehumanizing the disabled has immediate consequences for human society. Only the Nazis in modern history felt the disabled unworthy of life.
A major part of the problem with abortion is that to kill we need to see our victim as not human. The pro-abortion groups try to tell society that the child growing in the womb is not a person, or that the disabled are less entitled to life, or that its OK to decide you don’t want to give birth to a girl. The reality is that this attitude reaches down into the heart of humanity, and characterizes a civilization. To dehumanize the unborn, to make this an easy question with an easy answer, is to dehumanize all of us. Is this the legacy that we want to leave our posterity?
JoshuaPundit: I’m hardly surprised that the ‘right’ to murder a baby over 20 weeks old who was conceived via consensual sex, poses no danger to the mother’s health and is developed enough to feel pain and and shock at being ripped out of the womb would be thought of as ‘radical’. After all, look the proponent of infanticide whom the American people not only voted in as president but actually re-elected.His stance on abortion is not much different than Dr. Gosnell’s except he favored doing it in somewhat cleaner surroundings.
There’s no question these new laws will be challenged, and I’m not certain they’ll survive – we’ll have to see. But the fact that something like this would even be controversial at all, let alone our embrace of politicians that regard something like this as controversial and make political capital out of it is..unholy. I can’t think of any other word for it. And I am by no means a hardliner who wants to see all abortion criminalized.
The Glittering Eye: Back when the Supreme Court initially decided Roe v. Wade, my immediate reaction was that the viability approach that the Court had relied on would result in abortion activists waging a losing war with technology. The recent controversy over a law limiting abortions after 20 weeks in Texas is just the most recent battle in that war.
I find it really fascinating that the Texas legislature’s position, actually a pretty moderate one and consistent not only with the laws of most other states but quite in alignment with public opinion nationally, is being portrayed by a compliant press as a radical position while a radical position, the one being taken by abortion activists and oddly inconsistent with the actual law of the land which has never held an unlimited right to abortion, is being portrayed as moderate and commonsensical.
The Independent Sentinel: I do agree with limiting late-term abortions. After seeing sonograms, I don’t know why everyone doesn’t agree with me. Babies are viable at 20 weeks and that should be the cutoff with the proviso that exceptions be allowed in cases of rape, incest or if a woman’s life is in danger.
For a woman who can’t make up her mind by 20 weeks, why should we justify abortion so she can rectify her “mistake?”
I am very tired of women calling their babies fetuses when they want to kill them but babies when they are looking forward to giving birth. It’s rationalization run amok.
Why did we bother prosecuting Kermit Gosnell if we are going to allow the murder of babies up to the moment-of-birth? What’s the difference between the two really?
We treat animals better in this country. Can you imagine how crazed animal lovers would be if we said that in order to reduce the dog & cat population, we were going to perform a partial-birth abortion on as many as possible. A partial-birth abortion, which is the means by which doctors abort late-term babies, requires the person performing the abortion to randomly pull out the baby in parts. It’s savage and we wouldn’t do it to cats & dogs.
While several states are limiting late-term abortions, we have governors like Andrew Cuomo of New York who wants abortion to the moment-of-birth enshrined in the state constitution as a civil right for political expediency.
The trend of limiting late-term abortions has peaked. Too many women believe they have the right to kill any baby in their womb because it’s their body. Unfortunately, a lot of men are only too willing to go along with them.
GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Uh, any “bortions after 20 weeks seems like baby killing…not Choice.
Well, there you have it.
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.
It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it.
If you are unfamiliar with the watchers of weasels, you might want to check out their weekly winning articles:
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