Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
April 30, 2007
Finally . . . a victory against abortion
A partial-birth abortion is a particularly heinous form of killing the unborn. In it, the unborn baby is partially delivered, its brain either crushed or its contents sucked out and the now-dead baby delivered. This is done to save the doctor from a charge of infanticide.
Partial-birth abortions are generally performed on late-term unborn children who might well be able to live on their own outside the womb. Until the April 18 U.S. Supreme Court decision, a partial-birth abortion was legal in the United States. It is still legal in Canada, a land that seems to pride itself on having not a single restriction limiting abortions.
The wording of the U.S. Partial Birth Abortion Act may mean that it halts few, if any, abortions. Any conviction would require that it would have to be proven in court that the physician had the intent at the outset of the procedure to perform a partial-birth abortion. Simply proving that a partial-birth abortion was performed would not be enough.
Nevertheless, the Supreme Court's decision is a landmark one, one that may have enormous consequences for women and unborn children.
One can see its significance in the barely-restrained fury with which The New York Times editorialized against the decision. One can also see it in the rush to denounce the court decision by the two leading candidates for the Democratic Party presidential nomination - Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
The decision itself used language never before heard in U.S. court rulings on abortion. It referred to pregnant women as "expectant mothers," the unborn child as "life within the woman" and acknowledged the pain that many women undergo after an abortion.
Such acknowledgements are anathema to abortion's defenders who can only talk coldly of "a woman's right to choose."
Partial-birth abortion is a sign that this so-called right is really relativism gone berserk. In a world governed by a relativism that allows doctors to suck out the brains of babies, no one - no one at all - can ultimately be sure that they too will be protected by the rule of law tomorrow.
But we must talk not only in terms of a sustainable environment and a sustainable economy, but also of a sustainability of the heart and soul. This we do not have.
Reputable studies have found that women who abort their babies have a suicide rate six times that of women who carry their babies to term. They are also more likely to engage in drug or alcohol abuse and to develop eating disorders. After an abortion, the rate of marital breakup or relationship dissolution ranges from 40 to 75 per cent. Many who have had abortions seek healing from post-abortion distress even years and years after the abortion.
All of this is only the tip of the iceberg in the effects of abortion. But it points to a social structure being ripped apart by more than a million abortions a year in the U.S. and about 110,000 a year in Canada.
One must ask how soon society will crumble from within, not just from the killing of the unborn, but from the collateral damage of that killing on women who have had abortions.
Society needs to do a lot more to encourage healthy choices. It needs to encourage premarital abstinence. It needs to encourage young men to take responsibility for their own actions and to show life-long fidelity to those women they get pregnant. It needs to encourage young women to protect their sexual purity for the sake of their own futures and to make them aware that there is no shame in offering their child for adoption.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision was a small step in the right direction. But there is a long, long road to walk yet before women and children can be assured that society will give their lives and their souls the support and the protection they deserve.
- Glen Argan
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