Lack of supporting evidence

scan.jpgA carefully crafted and yet totally inaccurate letter to the editor (Finds abortion ruling unethical) was printed regarding the recent upholding of the 2003 ban on partial birth abortions. At least I think the writer was referring to that ruling since part of their crafting was to curiously leave out any actual references to the legislation in question. The letter is wrought with vagaries and inaccuracies which seem to be there to mislead the reader. Why didn’t the Herald demand supporting evidence for the letter before printing as they sometimes do? Perhaps because the only time I have heard of it is when it is a conservative view being questioned. Let me point out a few of the inaccuracies

Letter: This law criminalizes abortions during the early second trimester; such procedures are done to protect the health of the women.

Actual law: Any physician who, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion and thereby kills a human fetus shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.

Actual law: There exists substantial record evidence upon which Congress has reached its conclusion that a ban on partial-birth abortion is not required to contain a `health’ exception, because the facts indicate that a partial-birth abortion is never necessary to preserve the health of a woman, poses serious risks to a woman’s health, and lies outside the standard of medical care.

The law actually only criminalizes one type of abortion during any and all stages of pregnancy and If the health of the woman is at risk there are other methods of abortion legally available to her and her physician.

Letter: What terrifies me is that this law is the first to not include any clause that makes an exception for cases when a woman’s life is at risk.

Actual law: This subsection does not apply to a partial-birth abortion that is necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.

The letter writer has apparently gotten her facts mixed up or incorrect. The ban clearly states that it doesn’t apply if the womans life is at risk.

Letter: This law will affect whole families. I cannot begin to contemplate all of the implications of this law and its effects

Actual law: an abortion in which a physician deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living, unborn child’s body until either the entire baby’s head is outside the body of the mother, or any part of the baby’s trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother and only the head remains inside the womb, for the purpose of performing an overt act (usually the puncturing of the back of the child’s skull and removing the baby’s brains) that the person knows will kill the partially delivered infant, performs this act, and then completes delivery of the dead infant–is a gruesome and inhumane procedure that is never medically necessary and should be prohibited.

Contrary to what the letter writer is implying, this legislation does not ban abortions, just the one most “gruesome and inhumane” type. The other less gruesome and inhumane methods of killing unborn children are still available. Might I add also that live birth is also an option in most cases and is happily not inhumane. Live births would seem preferred and usually have a positive happy effect on the whole family.

http://www.theorator.com/bills108/s3.html

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/11/20031105-1.html