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PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION BAN ACT OF 2003  (Bill S.3)
      March 12, 2003

Shall we celebrate?  It has been over 2 years since our President has been elected.  He now has an opportunity to sign a bill against partial-birth abortion.   Mr. Clinton vetoed similar legislation twice, yet our nation voted him for a second term after the first veto.  It now will be signed by Mr. Bush.

Pro-lifers are quite pleased that finally some babies may be saved.  Eternal optimists, aren't we.  It is true, sure we were hoping that this would do some good.   You know, as always, the devil is in the details. 

Senator Santorum sponsored the bill and argued the bill for over 2 days.  He eloquently and forcefully worked hard and clearly 'spoke from the heart'.  Let us assume the best of the Senator from Pennsylvania, he surely deserves it.

The problem lies in what we think the impact of this bill will be, verses the real lives saved by this legislation.  Remember, you and I received multiple solicitation calls during multiple evening dinners regarding raising funds in order to help bankroll this effort.  We think that we are winning the battle slowly and incrementally, partially through legislation and through our financial support.  How many of those pro-life organizations asking for our dollars told us that this was only for a narrowly defined form of abortion and that it would not stop late term abortions, all forms are equally horrific to the baby.

Again, let us ask, how long has it been since Roe vs. Wade?   How many lives have we been able to save through well meaning legislative efforts in that time period?  In Roe vs. Wade, the court assumed first trimester abortions, certainly not third trimester abortions.  We claimed a 'great pro-life victory' when the "Born-Alive Infant Protection Act" was passed, federally outlawing what is already considered murder in 50 states.  Now we have the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban (pba) that certainly will become law.  Our incremental success over the last 30 years, when objectively observing the state we are in, truthfully reveals a disastrous political failure as we always think we are about to round the corner.

Could there be some change in attitudes among Americans regarding abortion.  Maybe.  Clearly pba is overwhelmingly disgusting to Americans.  There was, however, an interesting amendment to the bill, the Harkin Amendment, that also passed which said that abortion is constitutional and should not be overturned: 

     Amendment SA 260 agreed to in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 52 - 46. Record Vote Number: 48.

SA 260. Mr. HARKIN (for himself, Ms. CANTWELL, Mr. EDWARDS, Mrs. BOXER, and Mr. KERRY) proposed an amendment to the bill S. 3, to prohibit the procedure commonly known as partial-birth abortion; as follows:

At the appropriate place, insert the following:

SEC. __. SENSE OF THE SENATE CONCERNING ROE V. WADE.

(a) FINDINGS.--The Senate finds that--

(1) abortion has been a legal and constitutionally protected medical procedure throughout the United States since the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113 (1973)); and

(2) the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade established constitutionally based limits on the power of States to restrict the right of a woman to choose to terminate a pregnancy.

(b) SENSE OF THE SENATE.--It is the sense of the Senate that--

(1) the decision of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113 (1973)) was appropriate and secures an important constitutional right; and

(2) such decision should not be overturned.


Interestingly, a similar bill passed the last time pba was passed in the Senate.   At that time it passed (51 votes for the amendment).  This time, one more Senator switched sides and now is on record that abortion is the law of the land and the Senate should not attempt to overturn it.  Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas made a switch to vote in this way.  Yes, one of our good Republicans.  Quite a few others also declared they will not try to end abortion.  Also, they incorrectly sided with the Democrats saying that abortion is a constitutional right.  Gag me.  Incremental success?  Who are we kidding.  A few Democrats voted against this amendment, certainly more courageous than the Republicans who voted for the amendment.  See below. 

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=108&session=1&vote=00048

YEA votes for Harkin Amend. NEA votes for Harkin Amend. Not voting
Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Byrd (D-WV)
Campbell (R-CO)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Carper (D-DE)
Chafee (R-RI)
Clinton (D-NY)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Corzine (D-NJ)
Daschle (D-SD)
Dayton (D-MN)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Edwards (D-NC)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Graham (D-FL)
Harkin (D-IA)
Hollings (D-SC)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inouye (D-HI)
Jeffords (I-VT)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Reed (D-RI)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Schumer (D-NY)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Stevens (R-AK)
Warner (R-VA)

Wyden (D-OR)
Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Allen (R-VA)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Breaux (D-LA)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeWine (R-OH)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Fitzgerald (R-IL)
Frist (R-TN)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCain (R-AZ)
Miller (D-GA)
Nelson (D-NE)

Nickles (R-OK)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reid (D-NV)

Roberts (R-KS)
Santorum (R-PA)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Sununu (R-NH)
Talent (R-MO)
Thomas (R-WY)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Biden (D-DE)
McConnell (R-KY)

OK, back to the main subject at hand.  Shall we be pleased with the vote against pba?  Will any babies be saved?

Find out here how your Senator voted for S.3.

Unfortunately, and tragically, the honest, objective answer is probably not, perhaps a few.   Doubtfully.  If our goal is to save babies, the following will show how this will fail under this legislation.  If our goal is to politically elevate the subject to hopefully make a difference in the minds of the public, unfortunately it is likely still a failure. Why?

First, let us look at the verbiage of the salient part of the Bill:

Sec. 1531. Partial-birth abortions prohibited

(b) As used in this section--
  (1) the term `partial-birth abortion' means an abortion in which--
      (A) the person performing the abortion deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother for the purpose of performing an overt act that the person knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus; and
      (B) performs the overt act, other than completion of delivery, that kills the partially delivered living fetus; and

Immediately, as a physician, it becomes obvious that under the limitations of this bill it is still possible to slightly modify this procedure in a manner that will conform to the law.  Since this is very specifically defined by the wording, the abortionist could still do a very late term abortion that falls outside the definition above.  It would require only slight deviation from the norm in order to continue practice as usual.  

In (1) (a) above, the law applies only if the entire head or the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother.   Given this narrow definition,as a physician, it is clear that one could leave part of the head in the body of the mother (including the vulva tissue) or, if breech, it would be important not to pull the body out beyond the umbilicus before slaughtering the baby.  What the effect may be is to truly jeopardize the health of the mother as an unscrupulous abortionist will be doing more manipulation with possible additional internal trauma to the mother in order to get at the base of the baby's skull.

Abortionists are generally callused, rouge practitioners of medicine who often do not have privileges at the local hospitals.  They make their own rules and have their own sense of reason, not to be confused by those views of the vast majority of humanity that calls this barbaric.  It isn't a matter of whether or not they now will refuse to perform late term abortions, to them it is a matter of how best to get around this narrowly defined law.  This alternative may be termed a "modified Partial-Birth Abortion" or "Modified D&E" or something like that.  Otherwise, they will do a different form of late term abortion.  If there is a will to do them, as still exists in these individuals with cold hearts, the deceived abortionists will conceive of a way, in the name of compassion.   

To give Senator Santorum some credit, he worded the law in a very specific manner that is least likely to be struck down by an activist court system.  Unfortunately, this literally throws the baby out with the bath water.  For additional evidence this is true, take a look at the interesting conversation that occurred on the Senate floor when debating this bill.  First, Senator Kennedy said that there will be no babies saved through this bill.  As much as he is wrong on most issues, here he is probably correct.  A few minutes later, Senator Clinton claims that this was the start of a slippery slope to end all abortions.  This prompted Senator Santorum to have a question and answer dialog as seen below.       

Mr. KENNEDY   ... Let us be clear as to what this bill does not do. This bill does not stop one single abortion. The proponents of this bill distort the law and the position of our side with inflammatory rhetoric, while advocating a bill that will not stop one single abortion. This bill purports to prohibit a medical procedure that is only used in rare and dire circumstances. It is not used for unhealthy mothers carrying unhealthy babies. If this bill is passed, a doctor could be forced to perform another, more dangerous procedure if it becomes necessary to terminate a pregnancy to protect the life, the health of the mother.

This bill does not protect the health of the mother. Nowhere is there language that will allow a doctor to take the health of the mother into consideration, even if she were to suffer brain damage or otherwise be permanently impaired if the pregnancy continued. And this bill is not needed to protect the life of the babies who could live outside the mother's womb because those babies are already protected under the law of the land.

                                                   p3583 Congressional Record

Mr. Kennedy, who undoubtedly has met some unscrupulous abortionists, realizes that despite this bill, they will not stop their zeal for killing the unborn, and that this particular bill will essentially do nothing to save babies.  He even acknowledges that pba is used only for healthy mothers and healthy babies!!!  Birth control at it's worst.  So much for exceptions for the "health" of the mother, we now have proponents of abortion acknowledging that the mothers who go through this are truly healthy.

A few minutes later, Senator Clinton made some comments, and was then questioned by Senator Santorum.

Mr. SANTORUM. Yes. The Senator from New York said that the women she had in her office who had late-term abortions--you characterized it that they would be ``forced to carry their children to term'' if this bill passed. Do you stand by that statement?

Mrs. CLINTON. Yes, I do.

Mr. SANTORUM. So you believe if this legislation passes outlawing partial-birth abortion, no late-term abortions would be available?

Mrs. CLINTON. That is what I believe based on what I consider to be the slippery slope of the legislative language that you have carefully and cleverly crafted in this bill.

Mr. SANTORUM. OK. I suggest that the Senator from New York examine the language. It is very clear that this is one particular kind of abortion we have addressed, and we have addressed the vagueness, as put forth by the U.S. Supreme Court. And there are other techniques available for abortion that are late term in nature, and this bill would in no way stop other abortions. In fact, the previous speaker on the Democrat side, Senator Kennedy, made that very point. He made the point that this will not stop abortions.

I respect your feelings and I also respect Senator Kennedy's. You both oppose the bill and you have opposite opinions on this issue.

Mrs. CLINTON. Will the Senator permit me to respond to his statement?

Mr. SANTORUM. Yes.

Mrs. CLINTON. I heard the Senator from Massachusetts referencing the fact that, legal or illegal, this is not going to prevent abortions where they are necessary.

My reading of the legislative language you have put forth, makes a very clear argument that this is a slippery slope; that there are going to be not only difficulties in defining procedures, but the fact is that once you have criminalized this procedure, what doctor will perform any medically necessary procedure? There is no reason to believe any doctor would put his practice and his life at risk....
                         p3588 Congressional Record

 

Although Senator Santorum's comments partially paraphrased Senator Kennedy's comments earlier, making a point that the Democrats have completely different opinions regarding the impact of this legislation, wasn't Senator Santorum correcting Mrs. Clinton?   Senator Santorum independently made the point that there are other late term abortion procedures available for the abortionist.  Save babies? 

Mrs. Clinton would have a point that doctors might choose not to perform a procedure that could jeopardize their practice and risk criminal charges.  The problem with this argument is that the individuals who perform these abortions are already violating the Hippocratic Oath and Biblical values, violating basic human rights and are so callused they do things perceived as abhorrent to anyone else with an intact conscience.  They are clearly rogue 'practitioners', and are generally frowned upon by the medical community as they should be.  Since this is the case, their mind-set will guarantee they will not be abated by this law.  Senator Clinton's comments generally apply to the rest of the medical community but are not applicable to this group who have left the true practice of medicine.  Additionally, in contrast to the entrenched Senator from Massachusetts, she is more tuned into saying things that will increase her political funding for her own future.  By saying that there is a slippery slope and all abortions will end, she guarantees re-election dollars from abortion lovers. 

What all of this means is that our well-meaning strategy for ending abortion on demand in America is fatally flawed.  As much effort, prayer and finances are consumed in this effort, we again have essentially nothing to show for it, despite the pro-life organizations claiming victory by the brittle bone thrown that lacks true substance, partially because of the restrictions from the courts and also the lack of conviction by many Republicans on this foremost critical 'issue' that separates us from Almighty God.  Will God answer our prayers the way we want when we choose compromise against His Biblical direction? 

We, who claim we speak for the unborn, bear guilt as well for the holocaust since we failed to absolutely stand firm.  We have the ability to replace the politicians.  We have not done this.  We have been pleased with people's claim of "pro-life" when they clearly only throw a bone that has no meat.  The Republican Party has no litmus test on the moral issues (unlike the Constitution Party).  Therefore when we put these people back in, they believe they are speaking for us.  Unfortunately, they are.  The American church has compromised itself into irrelevancy, except for the Republicans to win an election with the agreeable payback of mere lip-service.  The church is marginalized and given only as much as necessary to maintain power for the Republican Party.  But, really, we don't care enough to change this!  We would rather sit back and say we are doing our best in a difficult situation instead of doing just what our founders would have wanted us to do, vote for one who does not equivocate on God's values, whatever the cost.   

Basically, by ignoring Biblical direction, we guarantee our failure as we have done here, once again.  These are God's battles, He told us how to fight them.  Let us not give credit to those who voted for this bill against pba, who could possibly be against it?  How horrific.  Adolph Hitler only wishes he could be credited with 43,000,000 deaths.  Don't blame the courts.  Don't blame the evil Democrats.  Blame our own failure.  Do we really think God will continue to Bless America when the Senate cannot decide whether something so terrible should be outlawed?  No way.  Fall in repentance or hear the wrath of God.  It is our choice.  Time is running out, though.   God's chastisement is already at hand, we should expect increasing cost, pain, suffering and death until we repent.  He loves us so He will do whatever is required that will bring us closer to Him.  

Here we are on the brink of a war against mad men with weapons that can kill tens of thousands.  We claim God's assistance even though we spit in His eye.  Don't you see that the moral issues are important to help us win the war effort?  We must put first things first and align ourselves with Almighty God before we get further into a situation that will cause us pain.  We must repent, fear God and turn before we attempt to take on committed enemies who have great hate.  We must lean on Him, not assume His standing with us.  We are not going in the right direction as we arrogantly and flippantly violate God's commandments.  Don't be fooled.  From this sense, the war is interrelated to the evil of abortion.  If we really want to save soldier's lives as well as our own neighbors, we must act quickly.

One other point, when it comes to abortion, we should follow the Biblical direction and refuse compromise even though it likely appears we may lose this round.  If saving babies is most important, the current bill will not help.  We must show our neighbors repentance and a non-compromising lifestyle to reach them and to please God.

Politically speaking, if we want to save babies, we must vote for only those who guarantee to put those issues first, willing to fight without concern for bipartisanship or any other political ploy, as would have been seen with Howard Phillips (#1 issue was to end legalized abortion) who ran in the Presidential race.  Even though we likely would have lost the election, more babies would have been saved as the politicians then see how they must stand in order to get our votes since they are all up for reelection in a matter of time.   As it is, we show our acceptance of politicians who will not put the issues most important to God first.  Anyway, that is God's direction given to us in the Holy Scriptures.  This is the way we change the hearts of the abortionists and the mothers.  This is how we reach the Republicans and Democrats and others.  We must fear God. The market for this evil will then dry up.  These things have been explored throughout this web site.   Sorry folks, it is still true.  We have chosen wrong.  We say we are doing God's work but we don't accept His instruction.  May God have mercy on us.   No victory yet.

So those of you who thaught that a vote for the decent G.W. Bush saved babies verses losing an election and having Al Gore as President, unfortunately there is no evidence this is true yet.  The Mexico City policy was diluted by our President's State Department, guaranteeing "funding for voluntary family planning" will continue,  he chose to embrace embryonic stem cell research at a level greater than even President Clinton would make as public policy, etc.  If we claim to know truth and speak for Almighty God, why do we accept this and look foolish?  When we do this, we affect our neighbors' view of Christianity and who God really is, leading to the church's irrelevance today in America.     


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