web grab.jpgby JivinJ, host of the blog, JivinJehoshaphat

  • William Saletan is still trying to get like-minded pro-choicers to answer basic questions about late-term abortions. He also slaps down the “all late-term abortions are for medical reasons” meme:

    We don’t have solid data on elective abortions late in the 2nd trimester, much less the 3rd, but we do have well-informed estimates concerning so-called “partial-birth” abortions. I’m one of many journalists who bought the initial pro-choice claim that these abortions were mostly for medical reasons. Investigative reports subsequently debunked this claim and corroborated the confession of Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, that “in the vast majority of cases” the patient was “a healthy mother with a healthy fetus that is 20 weeks or more along.”

    The Gosnell grand jury report provides no evidence that women who came to him for post-viability abortions did so for medical reasons. On the contrary, the report indicates he was indiscriminate: One of his employees testified that “she rarely, if ever, saw Gosnell decline to do a procedure because a woman was too far along.” And the only abortion on which the report offers evidence either way seems to have been elective.

    • Jill Filipovic takes a stab and says that fetal viability is a “fair place” to limit abortion yet she writes any cut-off time is “somewhat arbitrary.” She never seems to think very deeply about why a woman’s autonomy should be placed second to the child’s life at viability. It’s like she would probably prefer it wasn’t but she’s kinda/sorta okay if it is.

      It’s so weird to me how some pro-choicers can shout from the mountaintops about a woman’s autonomy for 20-week abortions (see 20 week fetus shown left) yet barely make a defiant peep about the same righteous autonomy for abortions which occur a mere 5 weeks later.

    • AUL’s Clark Forsythe discusses how Roe v. Wade and federal courts have made it difficult to regulate abortion clinics:

      Because the Justices who decided Roe foolishly believed that abortion had few risks and that doctors should have complete discretion to decide how to do abortions in the first trimester, they basically said that state and local officials can’t regulate in the 1st trimester, when 90% of abortions are done, and that they can try in the second trimester – if they dare.

      But the Justices then empowered the federal courts and attorneys for abortion providers to thwart every effort by public health officials to regulate. Federal courts across the country spent the next decade implementing that edict, and by the end of the 1980s, the federal courts had struck down attempts by Chicago and many other cities to regulate clinics in the 1st trimester. As Edward F. King, the Deputy Director of the Chicago Medical Society told the Chicago Sun Times in 1978, “The courts very effectively knocked the Department of Health out of the picture. We’re not even entitled to cross the threshold of these clinics.”…

      If the history of the past 38 years is replayed in Philadelphia, as it has been in Chicago and other major cities, the current furor will die down, some legislative body might pass new regulations, the ACLU or the Center for Reproductive Rights will file suit, the federal courts will strike down the regulations, the state will use tax dollars to pay attorneys fees to the clinics, the papers will turn a blind eye, and the case will never get to the Justices.

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