Huffington Post, Guttmacher defend abortion through ninth month of pregnancy


As Governor John Kasich signed into law a bill banning late-term abortions in Ohio, fringe groups which support abortion even through the ninth month of pregnancy continue to push false claims. The progressive webzine Huffington Post, which provides mainstream-level exposure for some of the most radical voices in politics, offers an article from columnist Laura Bassett warning that the Ohio late-term abortion ban “challenges terms of Roe v Wade“. Bassett engages in wholesale rejection of incontrovertible facts from science and law to defend both the Roe decision and the practice of abortion at all stages of gestation and for any reason. Let’s look at a couple of these claims.

Should a medical license be a license to kill?

A representative of the Guttmacher Institute, which has served as a research arm of Planned Parenthood, claims that doctors should essentially have a license to kill unborn children throughout all nine months of pregnancy, even if not to save the life of the mother. The reasoning offered is that it would be a “huge burden” for a doctor to have to hire an attorney if there were ever a court challenge.

“This is a big deal, in that it could have a real chilling effect on later abortions because there’s a potential to be thrust into the court system for providing an abortion after viability,” said Elizabeth Nash, a public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research organization. “It would be a huge burden for a provider to go through all of that and have to hire a lawyer to prove that you provided an abortion under the law.”

The phrase “thrust into the court system” refers to any legal action whatsoever. Using this reasoning, one would have to accept the idea that it is wrong for any doctor to ever be challenged in court, regardless of what harm he has inflicted on a patient. Even if we might agree that lawsuits against doctors add to healthcare costs and should be limited, isn’t it rather extreme to claim that no doctor should ever be “thrust into the court system” for intentional and direct killing of another human being?

Should we base our understanding of human development on 1970s-era science?

Bassett argues that the 1970s-era science of the Roe decision should be the basis for abortion law. (Emphasis mine)

None of the 20-week bans have been challenged in federal court so far, despite the fact that they directly violate Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that prohibits states from banning abortions before the fetus is viable. The Roe decision states that fetal viability “is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks,” and it provides exceptions for both the life and health — including the mental health — of the mother.

In this, we find clear proof that the pro-abortion argument depends solely on strict adherence to a horribly flawed court ruling while dismissing the science that proves to all but the most unreasonable among us that it is, in fact, horribly flawed. The Roe decision itself denies a very basic biological fact, that a human person begins life at fertilization. While the principle of respect for court precedents, in and of itself, is legitimate in that it is beneficial to an orderly society, precedents based on widespread ignorance about life in the womb during the 1970s are long overdue for reconsideration. Just as the Court erred due to ignorance about human dignity when it ruled that Dred Scott was “property”, so, too, the Court should consider that science now shows us the dignity of the unborn child.

For decades, advancements in technology have not only given us a window into the womb which helps us to understand better the humanity and dignity of the child in the womb, but also the ability to save these precious children far earlier in pregnancy than was previously thought possible. Certainly, as more people have become educated about life in the wombmore people understand that those who persist in their support of Roe v.v Wade are extreme, backward and unreasonable.

This lack of reason sadly holds forth again in the implication that abortion somehow liberates women who are suffering from mental health problems. In regard to the “mental health”exception Bassett defends, the argument again fails as research shows that abortion does not alleviate mental health issues. Instead, it does quite the opposite in increasing a woman’s risk, particularly her risk of depression.

While the rest of us are living in the 21st century, extremist apologists for abortion at all stages of gestation, for any reason, and without any consequences whatsoever for those doctors who continue in this very lucrative business, insist that we all continue to operate under a 1970s-era mentality. We think women deserve better than anything that this out-dated, extremist and backward-thinking movement offers for public consumption.

In the 21st century, we will love them both – woman and child. We will some day leave the pro-abortion movement and Roe v Wade on the ash heap of history where it belongs. Ohio’s ban on late-term abortions is one of many steps being taken now to help bring about that day. Thanks, Ohio, for loving them both!

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