The debate over the Texas abortion bill that soon will become law was predictable. The bill would ban most abortions after 20 weeks, require abortion facilities to meet the same requirements as ambulatory surgery centers and require the doctors who perform them to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.
When abortion advocates have no argument they call you names: Texas Gov. Rick Perry and the legislators who support this measure have been call radical, fascist, right-wing, misogynist and worse. However, the most common adjective used to describe the measure and its supporters is “extreme.”
In fact, the word extreme has been used so often its meaning has been lost. It is not a simple expletive to be hurled willy-nilly at one’s political opponents.
Examine its definitions and then decide for yourself which side is really extreme:
Existing in a very high degree: Each year the Centers for Disease Control reports abortion statistic gleaned from the states. These figures are woefully inadequate due to the fact that there is no law that requires states to report these statistics. Many don’t. Planned Parenthood’s research arm, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, is another, less neutral source. A conservative estimate is 1.2 million abortions a year. Approximately 4 of every 10 pregnancies end in abortion. In short, some 4,000 abortions are done every day for any reason, with little or no forethought about the developing child, the lifelong consequences or the complications that can and do occur. That’s extreme!
Exceeding the ordinary: The U.S. is among only four nations in the entire world to allow abortions for any reason after viability, a dubious distinction that we share with Canada and the totalitarian regimes of China and North Korea. Now that’s extreme!
Is the proposed Texas law that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks reasonable? According to the world’s standards it is. The U.S. is one of only nine nations to allow abortions after 14 weeks of gestation. Now that’s extreme!
Going to great lengths: Pro-life groups continue to press abortion activists and the organizations that promote them to come up with any restriction they would support. There is none. They steadfastly defended partial-birth abortion, an unnecessary brutal form of infanticide. Many would refuse to protect children who survive botched abortions. They are against informed consent laws, and are now railing against having abortion mills meet the same requirements imposed on every other outpatient surgery center. Now that’s extreme!
Situated from the farthest possible point from the center: With the widespread use of real-time ultrasound imaging, most people now understand that after the fifth month of pregnancy a baby is moving about. She has all her vital organs, responds to light and sound, can recognize her mothers voice as well as familiar songs and, more importantly, responds to painful stimuli.
A recent Gallup poll found that the overwhelming majority of Americans are uncomfortable with our abortion law as it stands. Eighty percent want abortion banned in the third trimester, and 64 percent want it banned in the second trimester.
Clearly, the 26 percent who support the law are outside the norm and fall into the extreme category!
The issue of fetal pain has been hotly debated in Texas and many other states. Medical experts agree that children at this stage of development are physically able to feel pain. However, there is widespread disagreement over whether these little ones are able to fully process that pain.
Honest clinicians on both sides acknowledge that the jury is still out, although infants born at the cusp of viability cry and respond to pain in much the same way any other newborn would. Also, when surgery is done in utero, these tiny patients are routinely anesthetized.
If we are going to err, shouldn’t it be on the side of sparing these defenseless little ones from even the possibility of a painful death? To do anything less would be extreme!
Texas will become the 13th state to ban abortions after 20 weeks. However, these state laws conflict with the 1973 Supreme Court decisions Roe v Wade and (more importantly) the companion case of Doe v Bolton, which defines a woman’s health in such a way that it is completely subjective and meaningless.
One or more of these laws likely will become a test case to challenge Roe and Doe which gave this country one of the most permissive abortion policies on earth. Now that’s extreme!