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Late-Term Abortions

Copyright © 1997, 2000, 2003 by David E. Ross

Yes, President Clinton should veto the Congressional bill that limits a woman's choice of medical procedures in a late-term abortion. Once the decision has been made to end a pregnancy, the first priority should be to use a method that presents the least risk to the woman. Not only would Congress eliminate the procedure that has the least risk to a woman's life and health, but that procedure has the least risk to a woman's future chance of again becoming pregnant.

This issue originates with the attempt by some religous individuals to impose their dogma on the rest of us. They failed in their attempts to convert through sermons, and they failed to impose their dogma by law. Now they want to nibble at the edges of the issue by imposing a risk of injury on any woman needing to end a late-term preganancy; worse, they are trying to impose such injuries that might prevent that woman from ever having another child. Perhaps, they will next try to enact a law that will prohibit anesthesia when a Cęsarian section is used to end a pregnancy; after all, it is well known that anesthetics can be very risky to a fetus, especially a fetus that is not full term.

21 May 1997

Last week, the U. S. Supreme Court agreed with me! By a 5-4 split vote, the justices ruled that, once a woman is determined to end her pregnancy, she has the right to choose a procedure that minimizes risks to her life and to her ability to have children later. Overall, this was indeed a decision in favor of the right to life — the lives of the woman and her future children.

Now the battle will return to the central, main issue — the overall legality of abortion. Stymied at every turn against their attempts to whittle away at the edges of a woman's right to choose whether to continue a pregnancy, the anti-abortion crusaders will have to confront the issue head-on. They will now attempt to elect a President who will appoint Supreme Court justices who will rescind the Roe vs Wade decision. Of course, wealthy women will still be able to travel to other nations where abortion will remain legal, while poor women will be relegated to risking their lives with unsafe, illegal, back-alley procedures. And the concern about the lives of children will still end with birth, the exact time at which my own religion believes that true human personhood begins.

3 July 2000

Today, President Bush (pandering to the Religious Right that put him into office) signed into federal law a prohibition against the safest form of late-term abortion. With no exemption to save a woman's health, those who obey the law risk ending a woman's chance of ever having a later child by forcing her to use a less safe procedure when her pregnancy goes awry. The lack of such an exemption is directly contrary to the Supreme Court's decision in 2000. This law will be challenged in court on that basis.

5 November 2003

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