Partial Birth Abortion - Part 1

December 8, 1999

Next month marks the twenty-seventh year of legal abortion, and the only thing that appears to have changed in the debate is the addition of newer and more gruesome abortion procedures. At the top of the list is partial-birth abortion.

The first legislative debate on partial-birth abortion took place back in 1995 when Representative Charles Canady introduced a bill to ban this unknown procedure. Congressional testimony revealed that a fetus was delivered feet first up to the head so that the skull could be pierced and the brain suctioned out.

Who would have predicted that such a long and protracted battle would take place over the last five years? And perhaps that shows how extreme the abortion lobby has become by its willingness to defend any abortion procedure no matter how far advanced the pregnancy might be.

Although partial birth bans have been passed by both the House and Senate, they have been vetoed by President Clinton. Meanwhile, pro-life advocates turned their energies to state legislatures. Partial birth abortion bans spread like wildfire through the legislatures. Today nearly three out of every five state legislatures have passed a ban, and some of these bans have been passed over gubernatorial vetoes. Unfortunately, liberal judges in various judicial jurisdictions overturned many of these bans.

But now a showdown seems certain. Judges in Wisconsin and Illinois found the partial-birth abortion bans in their states to be constitutional. Before the laws could be implemented Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens issued a stay that holds the two state laws in limbo until the high court disposes of the appeals. The high court will probably consider the issue, and the Congress will have another opportunity to pass a veto-proof ban. Let us pray that they do.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.