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wThursday, June 05, 2003

Partial Birth Abortion Bill

Some thoughts:

A. This is really just dumb. Somewhere between seven and eight million abortions occur annually, some three thousand of these are estimated to be Dilate and Extract procedures. (These figures are very sketchy estimates, I tend to use Planned Parenthood estimates because religious kooks generally aren't that good at math.) Most of these occur during the second trimester and when the mother's health is endangered or the fetus is deformed. Let's make sure we know what we're talking about here.

B. I watched Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum argue against Dick "Matt voted for him" Durbin's amendment that would have fixed this bill. (As an aside, I can tell you from watching little Ricky on C-Span that he really is a moron.) The Durbin amendment would have changed the bill to ban ALL third trimester abortions unless two Doctors were willing to certify that the mother's health was in danger (on pain of losing their medical licences). Santorum wouldn't budge, and as a result this law will most assuredly be knocked down by the Supreme Court. I really don't like that guy.

C. Wow, this bill is full of shit (just finished reading it all). The definition of Partial Birth Abortion used in the beginning is a late third trimester D&X, but how it is described in the penal code portion could be applied to what I described in (A). Anyway, they say that this procedure can never be used to save the life of the mother - there are a number of scenarios where this is incorrect, but I'll just mention one - hydrocephalus (water on the brain). Ordinary birth is hard enough, but imagine trying to push a skull literally the size of a bowling ball out of your ass. It will kill the mother. Women can stretch during birth, but not that much. An infant with this severe a case will not develop consciousness and will die soon after exiting the womb - but while inside, it is technically alive. In a case like this, D&X makes perfect sense (In case you're not familiar, the doc reaches in, switches the kid around to come out feet first, half delivers it, jams scissors into the base of the skull, sucks out the brain, collapsing the skull, kill the child, and completes delivery.)

D. Are Republicans really idiots, or do they just want to keep the issue alive for the next congress? And now I can't get this quote out of my head:
One of the Creator's lamentable mistakes, repented in sashcloth and axes. Being instated as an archangel, Satan made himself multifariously objectionable and was finally expelled from Heaven. Halfway in his descent he paused, bent his head in thought a moment and at last went back. "There is one favor that I should like to ask," said he.
"Name it."

"Man, I understand, is about to be created. He will need laws."

"What, wretch! you his appointed adversary, charged from the dawn of eternity with hatred of his soul -- you ask for the right to make his laws?"

"Pardon; what I have to ask is that he be permitted to make them himself."

It was so ordered.
Argh. And yet the way the media is going to portray this, half my family will continue to vote Republican because they're "Pro-Life".

posted by Matthew Carroll-Schmidt at 11:03 AM

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