Friday, April 27, 2007

Regarding the partial birth abortion decision - My two cents worth

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal ban on partial birth abortions in a 5-4 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Everyone has been weighing in with their opinions. Those on the left have called it the “end of the world” and a reversal of twenty years of legal decisions. Many who are pro-life have either hailed the decision or criticized those who hailed the decision. In fact some pro-life individuals have taken the moment as another opportunity to attack other pro-lifers and to ridicule their support for the ruling. And at the end of the day, where do we stand.

I did not immediately comment except to quote an old friend and state that it was a narrow victory for human dignity, judicial restraint and common sense. Indeed how could one say otherwise, except to say that the justices did not go far enough in reversing 34 years of bloodshed in this nation.

Yet you and I go about our daily lives aware that the abortion industry is killing innocent human life and we do not stop it. Many of us at least pray for an end to the carnage, but what are we really doing to end the killing?

I remember being asked about the proposed law many years ago. My comments have been quoted by many a pro-abortion sympathizer. In fact on April 17, 2007, the Daily Kos mentioned it again in his blog.

“You're absolutely right that Americans generally don't support D&X. But the GOP strategy behind the 2003 bill was to create a precedent, a slippery slope that would chip away at women’s reproductive rights.

The issue here is that Republicans laid a trap into which many Democrats stumbled:

We’ve been here before and will be here again. The much longer and protracted debate over partial-birth abortion showcases the conservatives’ slippery-slope formula for sabotaging the American consensus for abortion rights. First, highlight a viscerally gruesome medical procedure (as in the case of intact dilation and extraction) that evinces a powerful gut-level reaction or a case that generates natural feelings of sympathy (e.g. Laci Peterson). Second, play on and publicize apparent majority support for banning the practice in question. Last, brand the practice using a term, such as "partial-birth" or "unborn victim", which makes opposition virtually impossible.

As with "Unborn Victims" bill, the forces aligned against abortion rights were clear about their intent. In 1996, John Jakubczyk, the general counsel of Arizona Right to Life, stated that "by going after partial-birth abortions, we're trying to show the extreme radical view of the pro-abortion lobby. But no, that procedure isn't what we care most about. Our goal is to stop the killing of unborn children at any stage of development."

In many blogs throughout the net this quote has been resurrected as if it was somehow an important insight into our pro-life way of thinking. PERRspectives, another leftist blog quotes a number of pro-life activists stating the same thing.

So let us be clear. And this message is for pro-lifers and those opposed to protecting unborn children in the womb, as well as those who just do not care.

We in the pro-life movement who truly want to end this holocaust (please note the incendiary choice of words) are not going to stop until we have the law once again (notice the bold – so the reader understands that at one time there was a law) restore legal protection to the unborn child. Killing children is wrong. Abortion kills children. Abortion is wrong. It is really that simple.

If we must accomplish this task one step at a time, so be it. If the Supreme Court were to actually read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and realize that there is no “right” to abortion enshrined in the Constitution, and therefore rule that Roe v. Wade must be reversed, we would nevertheless need a constitutional amendment to protect all unborn children. Unless the Court was to find that the child is protected in the 5th and 14th amendments, our work would not end with the reversal of Roe.

Indeed we must create a climate of life, a culture for life, and a world where the idea of a mother killing her child would be universally recognized as abhorrent and unthinkable.

To this end it is not productive to be either ecstatic or depressed. There is simply too much work to be done. However this is not to say the opinion does not hold out some hope for the future. In that the ruling supported a legislative action forbidding a particular means of killing a human being, there is reason to believe that the Court may be willing to review past decisions in this area.

That the court called the “fetus” an “unborn child” is a step towards reality.

Perhaps the Court just needs to be asked the fundamental question. And perhaps one of our legislatures should propose that very question.

In the final analysis the choice is before each of us. Do we choose life or death?

This is the question not just for men and women facing an unintended pregnancy. It is the question facing the nation and the world.