Partial Birth Abortions Essay, Research Paper
I. Intro- In 1973, the Supreme Court handed down its Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion in all fifty states during all nine months of pregnancy, for any reason, medical, social, or otherwise. Of the approximately 1.5 million abortions performed each year, 93% are done electively. Most reasons are things such as the woman doesn t feel ready for a baby, can t afford one, or has broke up with her boyfriend. Recently, a procedure known as the partial-birth abortion has been developed. Partial-birth abortions are murder and should be outlawed.
II. For those who don t know, partial birth abortion is a procedure used to abort a woman who has been pregnant for 4.5 or longer. Guided by ultrasound, the doctor reaches into the uterus, grabs the unborn baby s leg with forceps, an pulls the baby into the birth canal, except for the head, which is deliberately kept just inside the womb. The baby is still alive at this point of the abortion. The doctor then jams scissors into the back of the baby s skull and spreads the tips off the scissors apart to enlarge the wound. After removing the scissors, a suction catheter is inserted into the skull and the baby s brains are sucked out. The collapsed head is then removed from the uterus. Sometimes the abortion doesn t go so smoothly. The baby s legs and arms are sometime ripped off in the process of pulling the baby through the birth canal.
III. I learned of this atrocity last year off of a television show. I can t believe such a procedure exists. How can someone not call this murder? A couple in Delaware was sentenced to death for killing their baby a few months after it was born. I don t see the difference between the two. Representative Charles T. Canady of Florida said “The only difference between the partial birth abortion and homicide is a mere three inches.”
IV. I could understand partial birth abortions taking place for a couple of different reasons. One of these reasons would be if the mother was at risk of dying if the baby were to born. Another reason could be if the woman was raped. What woman would want to have the spawn of her rapist growing inside of her?
V. Although I don t agree with them, many people feel partial birth abortions are justified when ending the life of a child with a genetic problem, such as downs syndrome. Unfortunately, an abortion of this nature only accounts for a fraction of all partial birth abortions. In a tape recorded interview with American Medical News, Dr. Martin Haskell, the inventor of partial birth abortion, he claimed that his extraction procedures involved fetuses with genetic problems only twenty percent of the time. The other 80% were purely elective.
VI. Some good news on the subject of partial birth abortions is that is has been banned in twenty eight states. Many of the states banned it in record time and three have overridden governor s vetoes.
VII. To conclude this presentation, I would like to read to you a statement by Brenda Pratt Shafer, a registered nurse who worked with D. Haskell for three days in 1993. She presented this statement before the U.S. House of Representatives Hearing on the Partial Abortion Ban Act.