Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

No Medical Reason for Late Abortions

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

No Medical Reason for Late Abortions

Article excerpt

President Bill Clinton defended his veto of the partial-birth abortion ban in his usual style - with lies and misrepresentations. He has not thus far been held to account for the veto or its misleading justification.

Let's recall that partial-birth abortions are performed after the 20th week of pregnancy. The baby is turned into a breech position inside the womb and then pulled out of the birth canal by the feet. When only the baby's head remains in the uterus, the doctor punctures the skull with scis sors and then inserts a tube to suck the baby's brains out.

A nurse who observed one of these abortions recalled seeing the almost completely delivered baby's body moving, "its tiny hands clasping and unclasping."

How can such a ghastly procedure, amounting to infanticide, be defended? How, in particular, can it be defended by the self-proclaimed "party of compassion"?

The answer, as we saw during the debate over the bill, was with lies.

First, pro-choice advocates circulated the line that fetuses were not killed by the doctor's scissors but by the anesthesia administered to the mother. This was credulously repeated in the press innumerable times. But professional anesthesiologists came forward to decry this false information. Anesthesia does not kill fetuses in utero, they insisted, and misplaced fear that it might could keep pregnant women from having necessary surgery.

Next, pro-choice advocates said the procedure was performed only to save the life or health of the mother and anyway was so rare that it did not merit legislative attention.

This was the pose Clinton struck when he vetoed the bill.

Responding to criticism from Sen. Bob Dole, the president said, "Before Dole or anybody else stands up and condemns the rest of us for our alleged lack of moral compass, he ought to say to women, `I did not want to be bothered by facts. It's OK with me if they rip your body to shreds and you could never have another baby even though the baby you're carrying couldn't live.' Now I fail to see why his moral position is superior to the one I took."

But it is Clinton and the pro-choice forces who do not wish to be bothered by facts. …

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