Last April the US Supreme Court upheld the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban. Liberty Council filed two amicus briefs on my behalf in support of the ban, and I was present in the courtroom for closing arguments.
Yesterday the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down VA’s pba ban for the 2nd time, basically sneering at the US Supreme Court, which had asked it to reexamine its 1st decision in light of the Supremes’ decision.
pba illustration.jpgI probably don’t need to say more than the 2 4th Circuit judges voting to strike VA’s pba ban down were Clinton appointees. The lone judge upholding it was a Bush I appointee.
But I’ll expound. What is the difference between the 2? I spoke this morning with reps from the VA Society for Human Life and the VA Family Foundation.
They said the only difference between the 2 is the federal law describes a baby as partially in the womb when the pba is started and the VA bill describes the baby as partially out of the womb when the pba is started.
From that the Clinton appointees decided an abortionist could violate the VA pba ban if starting a different abortion procedure and accidentally stumbling into a pba.
So in theory, an abortionist could be attempting a dilatation and evacuation (D&E) abortion, where s/he draws and quarters the baby en utero before removing the pieces, and somehow deliver a live baby past the navel (in a head first delivery) or up to the head (in a breech delivery) and violate the ban if then killing the baby….

In actuality, it would be easier for the abortionist at that point to terminate a mother’s pregnancy by just delivering the live baby rather than phenagling to kill him or her.
It is anticipated the VA attorney general will appeal this decision to the full 4th Circuit, which is by and large conservative, or the US Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, MI pro-lifers are trying to pass a MI pba ban. MI Right to Life’s lobbyist Ed Rivet explained its ban in an email to me this morning:

Our law parallels the federal law almost verbatim…. Our MI ACLU even testified in committee that the language of our pending bill is not vulnerable to a constitutional challenge because it parallels the federal law so closely.
We don’t have any stricter penalties under our version, but having the state law means that 83 county prosecutors and our state attorney general would all have authority to bring a case, and not have to rely on a handful of federal district attorneys assigned to MI in order to bring enforcement.

As an interesting aside, the outcome of debate for and against this gruesome abortion procedure during the mid- to late 1990s, when legislation was introduced passed and vetoed by Clinton twice, had a huge impact on public opinion, which shifted against abortion after bumping in favor of it for several years. The abortion lobby has never recovered ground. Below see a Gallup abortion poll timeline next to an NPR pba abortion debate timeline. Click to enlarge:
gallup and timeline.jpg
As a result, abortion proponents cannot stand the term “partial birth abortion,” even though it is now both a legally and medically defined term. So they call the PBA Ban the Federal Abortion Ban. Here’s a recent example, lifted from an online interview with NARAL leaders after it endorsed Obama last week. Speaking here is Elizabeth Shipp, NARAL’s political director. Click to enlarge:
federal abortion ban.jpg

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