by David Sisler
The baby, a little girl, jumped, her arms and legs moving quickly when she was surprised by the sudden element which intruded into her environment. The startled movement stopped quickly, however, because the element was a pair of surgical scissors. The environment was the baby's brain. The movement of the tiny, perfectly formed arms and legs was observable because the baby had been turned to the breech position and partially delivered. Only her head was still inside her mother's body when the scissors penetrated her skull and brain, killing the almost-born child. When the tiny girl finally lay still, her brains were suctioned out and the delivery of a dead baby was completed(*).
If you were a politician, and maybe you are, and seventy percent of the people you represent favored an issue, do you think you might be inclined to listen to the voice of those who put you into office? With almost three-fourths of America opposed to partial birth abortions, on April 10, President Bill Clinton, with his "pen dipped in blood" (to quote Keith A. Fournier, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice), vetoed a congressional measure which would have outlawed what many medical professionals call "near infanticide."
In a manipulative and inappropriate scene which could certainly qualify as obscenity, Bill Clinton surrounded himself by five weeping women and fraudulently used them to justify the potential murder of 15,000 babies every year.
The President claimed that a partial birth abortion is done only to preserve a woman's life. The preponderance of medical testimony, supplied by the very people who kill these almost-born children, says that the mother's health is greatly endangered by the procedure. Once the child has been forcibly turned and delivered to the point of its death, delivering the child a few more inches does not imperil a woman's health.
The President claimed that a partial birth abortion is done only to insure a woman's future fertility. What possible logic calls for the death of one child so that another child can be conceived? Maybe the logic which led a British woman to kill one of her unborn twins because she could not "cope" with two babies.
Partial birth abortion proponents say that the procedure is painless for the baby (actually, they call them a fetus so we won't know it's a human being who is being killed). David Grimes, vice chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California Medical School at San Francisco says, "Anesthesia does not automatically cause fetal death." Testimony from the American Association of Anesthesiologists suggest that a majority of the babies are alive during the procedure. The president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists testified that the local anesthesia used in this procedure does not reach the baby at all. Medical testimony before Congress details body contortions and expressions of pain on the face of the partially delivered baby as it is killed by the doctor.
In the face of the preponderance of the evidence, President Clinton vetoed the partial birth abortion bill. In the face of the message from the American Medical Association's Legislative Council which unanimously recommended that the ban be endorsed, President Clinton vetoed the partial birth abortion bill. In the face of pressure from members of his own political party -- Jose Kennard, a Texas Democrat and member of his party's Executive Committee, resigned, saying, "The procedure is clearly the taking of a human life -- President Clinton vetoed the partial birth abortion bill. In the face of opposition from traditional Democratic Party supporters -- John T. Joyce, president of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftsworkers and a vice-president of the AFL-CIO declared, "I can no longer support President Bill Clinton's bid for reelection. My dilemma begins with Clinton's April veto..." -- President Clinton vetoed the partial birth abortion bill.
In fact, the only section of the population which seems to applaud the decision are ardent feminists, the one group that would never vote for Bob Dole. Writing in The National Review, Kate O'Beirne said, "Not for the first time, feminist demands made a weak man tremble."
Abortion rights advocates want abortion on demand, at any time, for any reason. Barbara Bradford of the National Abortion Federation said, "Don't apologize, it's a legal procedure." The late Dr. James McMahon, an early practitioner of the partial birth abortion technique, said that if a mother wished the procedure because she was "young" or "depressed," then that abortion was "nonelective." When abortion advocates insist on adding such provisions to legislation, any limits on abortion are dissolved.
In his declaration of non-support for the president, John T. Joyce said, "If I support someone who does not take every step humanly possible to prevent abortions, I practically condone such actions, and, to some degree, become complicit in the act of killing unborn human beings." Congress is back at work this week following the summer recess. The first item on the agenda should be the immediate and overwhelming override of President Clinton's veto. With that action, our nation will take a giant step backwards from the precipice of legal infanticide.
Published in the Augusta Chronicle 9/7/96
(*) Because of its very graphic nature, this paragraph was not printed in The Chronicle.
Copyright 1996 by David Sisler
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