Bush Signs Partial-Birth Ban

President Bush has signed the ban on partial-birth abortion into law. Already abortion-rights advocates are planning to mount a legal challenge to the law.

Somehow I have a feeling this will backfire. The American Medical Association has already stated that such abortions are never medically necessary, and even those who are pro-choice have to balk at such a barbaric procedure. However, the abortion-rights lobby is controlled by a group of people who consider any infringement upon the absolute right of an abortion to be completely unacceptable – even if such infringements are based upon common sense. Ending partial-birth and reasonable parental-notification statutes (provided there is a speedy and fair judicial bypass) are common sense actions that would not have a significant harm on abortion rights. A Constitutional right to privacy is dubious – extending that right to a 13 year-old trying to have a major invasive surgery is simply ridiculous.

I do agree with President Bush – overturning Roe v. Wade is simply unrealistic. This is a cultural, not a political battle. The American public is tilting more and more against abortion and towards alternatives that would preserve the life of the child. Having a federal judge tell women that they could not make that choice for themselves would only shift that balance towards the pro-choice position. If people understand how invasive, impersonal, and life-shattering a “choice” abortion is, it will do far more to dissuade people from having abortions than any statute or protest. Given the ability to make informed choices, people will tend to make the right choice. Unless there is a clear state interest, as there is in the partial-birth ban, a full ban on abortion would be politically disastrous, and thankfully the President realizes this.

3 thoughts on “Bush Signs Partial-Birth Ban

  1. Bush has made a very solid strategic move here. By signing the partial-birth abortion bill, he ensures the accolades of the Bible-thumping right and their fists full of campaign contributions in 2004. So they’re happy…for now. Meanwhile, he has winked at abortion rights supporters and indicated he has no desire to pursue outright prohibition and thus possibly helping a few pro-choice soccer moms breathe a sigh of relief long enough to win some bonus votes next November. Beyond that, millions of pro-life zealots are holding their breath waiting for Bush to appoint a Robert Bork or Clarence Thomas clone to the Supreme Court at the first possible opportunity. The fallout from the religious right will be less scorching now that he’s thrown them a bone with banning partial births and indicated that he’s not prepared to overturn Roe vs. Wade. He’ll lose a few votes by making this admission, but will likely win as many as he’s lost.

    And I’m assuming your statement about a “federal judge telling women that they can’t make the choice for themselves would shift the balance towards a pro-life position” is a misprint because it would almost certainly be a boost to pro-choice sentiments if Uncle Sam stuck his nose in it. I’ve never been a supporter of Roe vs. Wade and would be at odds with my party for taking that position, but am fully aware that the consequences of imposing a prohibition against the procedure would far outweigh the perceived moral benefits. However disgenuous Bush’s motives are, he’s ultimately correct with his statement.

    Beyond that, looking at numbers indicating diminishing support for abortion rights contradict themselves with the increase of the instant-gratification gluttony mindset among American voters who “want MYYYYY money back”. When faced with the real-world consequences of financing hundreds of thousands of unwanted children that entered the world annually in the event of an abortion prohibition, it’s a pretty safe conclusion that many of the softer-core anti-abortion converts will ultimately favor “MEEEEEEE” over the other girl’s kid any day.

  2. And I’m assuming your statement about a “federal judge telling women that they can’t make the choice for themselves would shift the balance towards a pro-life position” is a misprint

    Yes it is. Point well taken.

  3. Jay, you seem to have a principled opposition to the measure. Would you kindly do me a favor and ask those on the Right to do likewise–base their positions on the facts of the case, and not fabricate information as they go along? I ask for two reasons. First, the last time a conservative friend of mine broached the subject with me, he described the procedure in a grossly incorrect way, which I assumed was a result of the misnomer “partial-birth” in describing the procedure. Second, last night Bill O’Reilly did the exact same mischaracterization on his show when talking to a legal analyst that didn’t actually know the legal precedents for the injunction issued by the Nebraska judge.

    If there are legitimate reasons for opposing the procedure, don’t you think it would speak higher of the Right if they were to cite those reasons as opposed to out-and-out fabrications, especially on a “news” channel?

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