Monday, April 05, 2004

Partial Birth Abortion Ban

I'd just like to say, I find the controversy over this procedure to be extremely frustrating. Rarely do politicians do such a thin job pretending to actually be concerned about what's right and wrong with respect to the matter at hand. I mentioned last week about how easily people seem to ignore obvious moral data, and earlier about misuse of slippery slope arguments by opponents to the ban. One might think I'm defending the Right on this issue, but I'm not -- I haven't yet mentioned the most frustrating part of the debate of all. The part of the legislation that has everyone up in arms is that it fails to include an exception for cases in which the procedure is necessary to protect the mother's life. At first glance, this would appear to be a reasonable exception to include. So why don't they include it? "Congress, in passing the ban last year, said the procedure was never medically necessary, even to protect a woman's health." (SF Chronicle) So now we're having hearings to determine whether it's ever important (hearings, I might add, that raise privacy concerns about medical confidentiality), in order to determine whether the lack of that exception renders the bill unconstitutional. If proponents of the bill really think that the procedure is never medically necessary, as they're currently arguing in court, then what was the point of rejecting an amendment allowing a provision for medical necessity? If they're right, then that provision will just never apply, and their opponents will stop complaining, and the law will go into the books. The obvious and frustrating fact of the matter is, no one is interested in doing the right thing with regards to partial birth abortion policy. Everyone's looking at a different issue, and they're not even doing a good job pretending not to be.

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