Illogical abortion outrage

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)--"It really disturbed me," said a woman who serves as president of a Florida chapter of the National Organization of Woman (NOW).

The quote, according to a variety of reports, was the reaction of Joanne Sterner, head of Broward County NOW, to the news that a botched abortion attempt resulted in a baby girl being born and subsequently tossed in the trash to die.

Other news reports indicated that many abortion advocates, much like Ms. Sterner, expressed "shock" upon hearing about what took place at a Florida abortion clinic in July 2006.

It seems that an 18-year-old young lady who was 23 weeks pregnant sought to have an abortion. A day or two prior to the procedure she was given drugs designed to facilitate the dilation of her cervix so the abortion procedure could take place.

On the day of her appointment she arrived on time, although the doctor was not yet in the building. Some time later, with no doctor present, she went into labor and delivered a baby girl. The young lady alleges that one of the clinic's owners cut the umbilical cord with a pair of scissors, placed the child -- who was trying to breathe -- in a plastic bag and tossed it in the trash to die.

Keep in mind that premature babies at 23 weeks have survived in the hospital.

Abortion opponents are rightfully outraged over the entire situation. However, the supposed shock on the part of abortion proponents seems wholly disingenuous.

The young woman went to the clinic to have an abortion. In other words, she intended to enter the clinic with a baby in her womb and to exit minus the child. That is exactly what happened.

In fact, the manner in which the baby died -- likely due to suffocation or exposure, perhaps a combination of both -- was probably more humane than the abortion procedure would have been.

At 23 weeks gestation, one of two procedures is used to kill an unborn child.

The first is known as Dilation and Evacuation (D&E). Once the cervix is sufficiently dilated, the doctor pulls the baby out piece by piece with forceps -- an arm here, a leg there. The child's skull is crushed to ease removal. A sharp tool (called a curette) is also used to scrape out the contents of the uterus, removing any remaining tissue.

The second procedure is called Dilation and Extraction (D&X), also known as partial-birth abortion, which is banned by federal law. The abortion doctor uses ultrasound to locate the legs of the baby. Grasping a leg with forceps, the doctor delivers the child up to the head. Next, scissors are inserted into the base of the skull to create an opening. A suction catheter is placed into the opening to remove the brain. The skull collapses and the baby is removed, dead.

The young woman was scheduled to receive a Dilation and Evacuation (D&E).

If the goal of abortion is a terminated pregnancy resulting in a discarded baby -- which pro-choicers call a fetus -- then why should abortion proponents quibble about the method?

Whether the baby is suffocated just moments after birth or is pulled apart limb by limb just minutes prior to being born should not be an issue. In fact, the former method seems more humane than the latter.

To further underscore the disingenuous "shock" of abortion advocates over the baby allowed to suffocate, one need only look back to the last presidential election.

Proponents of abortion overwhelming supported, and even stumped for, now President Barack Obama, who is a staunch supporter of abortion rights.

President Obama is so committed to abortion that as a state senator he opposed the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act -- an act that was designed to insure that babies surviving abortions would be given medical care to assist in their survival. He claimed it would have infringed on Roe v. Wade.

Which is more disturbing: a baby who, just prior to birth, is dismembered limb by limb, or one who is born and placed in a plastic bag to suffocate? To pro-lifers, both are horrific. To the proponents of abortion, only the latter is bothersome. What's wrong with this picture?

When abortion proponents express shock over a baby that was allowed to suffocate after surviving an abortion attempt, they are either insincere or schizophrenic when it comes to the practice of abortion –- perhaps even both.


Kelly Boggs is a weekly columnist for Baptist Press and editor of the Baptist Message (www.baptistmessage.com), newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.

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