Partial-birth abortions will be illegal, as soon as Bush signs the bill that the Senate passed 64-34 yesterday (the House passed it a month ago). In theory, this law will prevent up to 5,000 abortions of convenience each year (since, as Bill Hobbs notes, the AMA says the procedure is almost never medically necessary; Donald Sensing says that physicians have testified for years that the procedure is never medically necessary).

Considering that I view abortions of convenience as murder, I would have preferred if the federal government had stayed out of it and left it to the states (which generally prosecute murderers), but my affection for federalism is outweighed by the thousands of lives that will potentially be saved. Furthermore, many similar state laws have been struck down:

The measure is similar to, but somewhat more detailed than, a Nebraska state law that the Supreme Court struck down by a 5-4 vote three years ago. That ruling had the practical effect of nullifying 30 state laws. Up to that time, Congress had been trying unsuccessfully for five years to enact a similar proposal at the federal level.

My lamentable Senator, Barbara Boxer, has this to say:

California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, who helped lead opposition to the bill, called it "a very sad day for the women of America."

But, of course, she's only considering women who are already out of the womb, and has little concern for the women who will now not have their brains sucked out by vacuums and their bodies dismembered.

Along the same lines,

But an abortion rights supporter said the ban "will bring an end to providing the best and safest health care for women."

It will bring an end to the mass-murder of thousands of children. Physicians all seem to agree that this procedure was never medically necessary, so it certainly can't be required for the best and safest health care for anyone. Congress concurs:

In drafting the new national measure that has now passed, Congress wrote lengthy findings that contradict the Supreme Court's conclusion that abortions using the procedure banned by the bill are sometimes medically necessary to protect a woman's health. "Congress finds that partial-birth abortion is never medically indicated to preserve the health of the mother," the bill's preamble says.

The problem is that the abortion-rights people don't seem to understand that they're arguing a different point than most people are conerned with.

"This dangerous ban prevents women, in consultation with their families and trusted doctors, from making decisions about their own health," said Gloria Feldt, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Most Americans don't see abortion as a private issue that only affects the mother, no matter how much abortion-rights advocates want to spin it that way. They purposefully misstate the pro-life position, which is that an unborn baby is a human being, and that as such the medical privacy concerns of the mother are inconsequential compared to the right of that other human being to live. As I wrote in that earlier post:

2. Michelman states that the position of pro-life advocates is that the government should be involved in people's private medical decisions, when that isn't the crux of the matter at all. To an opponent of abortion, the critical issue is that a fetus is a human being, and as such should not be killed without a cause more substantial than mere convenience. It has nothing to do with a lack of respect for the privacy of the mother, or with a desire to interfere with her private medical decisions. To a pro-lifer, the decision to have an abortion isn't private, because it necessarily involves another person: the unborn baby.

For a really excellent scientific explanation of why unborn babies (from conception) are alive, and are "real" human beings (without any reference to religion), I highly recommend "Life: Defining the Beginning from the End".

And finally, "Who, after all, could consider a fetus as life unworthy of living, once they've held its hand?", asks Sydney Smith, a family physician, and author of MedPundit.

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