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Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Partial Birth Abortion, and its friends

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Nov 08, 2003

Vision Book Cover Prints

Mona Charen has a good piece on the Partial Birth Abortion bill, including a historical recap of the "march of mendacity" on the part of the abortion lobby: the Fewer than 500 per Year Lie, the Painless Death by Anesthesia Lie, the D&X'd Fetuses were Doomed Anyway Lie, among others.

No medical authorities have provided testimony that the procedure is ever medically necessary for the sake of the mother. Why then did Dr. Martin Haskell originate the procedure? The answer appears to be that D and E abortion, the other method for terminating an 18-26 week pregnancy, is difficult for doctors to perform in their offices. A D and E involves dismembering the fetus in utero and then pulling it out piece by piece. By the time the fetus is 20 or so weeks old, he or she becomes difficult to cut. Therefore the "intact" evacuation -- pulling the baby out by the feet, plunging scissors into the skull, vacuuming out the brain and pulling the collapsed skull through the vagina -- is preferred. Brenda Pratt Shafer, a nurse who was strongly pro-choice before witnessing a partial-birth abortion, described her horror at seeing the partially delivered baby squirming and opening and closing his fists before the doctor finished him off.

And while we're rehearsing the history, let's not forget the wholly contemptible part played by the Rev. Robert F. Drinan, of the Society of Jesus and Georgetown Law School, who used his status as a priest and a former congressman to rally Democrats in support of Clinton's veto of the PBA ban, by means of fervidly partisan op-eds in the New York Times and (surprise!) the National Catholic Reporter. This is Father Drinan writing in the NYT (4 June 1996):

The indignant voices of the pro-life movement and the Republican party will likely reach new decibels in the campaign to urge Congress to override President Clinton's veto of the bill banning so-called partial-birth abortions. But Congress should sustain the veto. The bill does not provide an exception for women whose health is at risk, and it would be virtually unenforceable.

One wonders how the Pope could manage without his Jesuit light infantry to fight the good fight on his behalf. One wonders too whether Father Drinan was gratified by his success in keeping PBA procedures up and running for those seven extra years. It would be instructive if a modern day Dante were to portray the shade of Father Drinan at a podium in Limbo, surrounded by the shades of the prematurely terminated -- opening and closing their fists -- while he explained the necessity of the PBA legislative "health exception" for their mothers.

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