Thursday, October 16, 2008

From the Presidential Debates: the "Health of the Mother" Canard Demonstrated.

In last night's presidential debate, Senator John McCain criticized Barack Obama for his opposition to proscriptions on abortion, including partial birth abortion. Obama countered that he had only opposed a Partial Birth Abortion Ban because it did not include an exception for cases where it was necessary to protect the "health of the mother."

Planned Parenthood has argued strenuously that the partial birth abortion procedure -- in which a child is pulled up to halfway outside the birth canal before its skull is crushed, it's brains sucked out, and it is delivered dead -- is necessary to protect a woman's health. In Gonzales v. Carhart the Supreme Court turned away a facial challenge to the law, holding that this procedure was unnecessary to protect a woman's health, deferring to Congress's finding after extensive hearings that the procedure was never necessary to protect a woman's health. However, the Court left open the possibility of as-applied challenges to the PBA ban if a woman's health was ever threatened by the unavailability of the procedure. Justice Ginsburg invited and predicted such challenges.

But after 18 months no such challenge has been brought. 547 days have now passed after the Supreme Court's decision upholding the PBA Ban and permitting it to go into effect. By Planned Parenthood's estimates, likely very low, six partial birth abortions were occurring daily prior to this decision. By these figures, 3,282 partial birth abortions have NOT occurred since the Supreme Court allowed the statute to go into effect without a health exception. Yet, not a single as-applied challenge has been brought claiming that the PBA Ban endangered a woman's health in a specific case.

I have discussed this point previously here and here. Again, either women have experienced a remarkable streak of luck in the past 18 months, the abortion advocacy groups are terribly understaffed in their legal departments, or Planned Parenthood and others were lying about the medical necessity of partial birth abortion. But in any case, someone now arguing for such an exception should bear the burden to demonstrate why the lack of a health exception for partial birth abortions has been a burden on women for the past 18 months.

1 Comment:

Frank LoVe said...

Thank you for your support of innocent babies and your making us aware of how the babies are being murdered in such a hennas way. Plan parenthood is fast becoming the monster it is! the beast the 666 .If support by Obamma to change it back again, God help America.