On Dec. 3, 2009, Nebraska late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart told the New York Times that after the death of colleague George Tiller in May he began committing abortions “‘past 24 weeks,’ he said in an interview, and is prepared to perform them still later if they meet legal requirements and if he considers them medically necessary.”
The New York Times added:
Dr. Carhart’s fee schedule lists prices for abortions up to 22 weeks and 6 days (at that point, $2,100 in cash or $2,163 on a credit card), but notes that abortions after 23 weeks are available “after consultation with our doctor,” and that abortions after the 27th week may take four days.
The problem is Nebraska has a law banning abortions past the age of viability except to “preserve the life or health of the mother.” Although unspecified, currently a baby is considered viable at 23 weeks.
This wasn’t the first time Carhart publicly flouted the fact he allows himself a wide swath of wiggle room on whether a baby he is aborting is viable or not.
Hence the introduction of the Abortion Pain Prevention Act by Nebraska Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood on Jan. 21.
The Abortion Pain Prevention Act takes us into a whole new world of abortion law, banning all abortions after 20 gestational weeks on the basis of a preborn baby’s capacity to feel the pain of it all. At this age a baby anatomically “has the physical structures necessary to experience pain,” states the bill, based on scientific evidence.
The only exception would be if a mother “has a condition which so complicates her medical condition as to necessitate the abortion of her pregnancy to avert her death or to avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function,” states the bill.
Watch this legislation. It has the potential to be as explosive in the 2000s as the Partial Birth Abortion Ban was in the 1990s, and just as damaging to the abortion movement. Meanwhile, if passed, it would save exponentially more lives.
And once again Carhart, the ultimate loser of the PBA Ban battles before the Supreme Court, is in the middle of it.
As with the PBA Ban, the focus here is on the humanity of the baby, anathema to pro-aborts.
The Abortion Pain Prevention Act will be exceedingly difficult for the other side to oppose since today wanted preborn babies the same age as late-term babies being aborted routinely receive anesthesia during en utero surgery.
Or if born, particularly at 23 weeks or older, wanted babies often live and thrive.
Likewise, comparing the Abortion Pain Prevention Act to current Nebraska laws regulating the humane treatment of laboratory animals, or requiring that livestock be slaughtered by pain-free methods, will make it difficult to counter.
Not that they won’t try, but fighting the Abortion Pain Prevention Act will be a public-relations nightmare.
But should the bill be signed into law, and should pro-aborts successfully contest it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, then what?
The National Right to Life Committee thinks Justice Anthony Kennedy has given clues in recent Supreme Court decisions that he would swing in favor of this legislation – on its merits and even including its very strict health exception.
Details and timeline: The Nebraska Legislature has only one body, comprised of 49 senators. Roughly 35 of them are pro-life, most endorsed by the Nebraska Right to Life PAC in previous races.
As stated previously, the Abortion Pain Prevention Act was introduced by the pro-life speaker of the Legislature, Mike Flood, an attorney. It has already been assigned to a committee. If it passes out of committee, it will get three readings on the Senate floor and then be voted on. The current session ends April 14, 11 weeks from today.
Nebraska Gov. David Heineman is pro-life as is the state’s attorney general, Jon Bruning, who would be charged with defending the Abortion Pain Prevention Act were it contested in court.
Politics aside, late-term babies are being barbarically aborted every day in America while enduring excruciating pain. We wouldn’t permit a dog to be tortured in this way. Remember Michael Vick.
Abortion proponent Lynn Harris admitted in Salon on Jan. 22:
Among all abortions these constitute a relatively small number, but not as small as we think. One hundred and fifty thousand abortions take place after 20 weeks.
That’s 411 every day.