Abortion and Presidential Politics, 2008

On the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in Gonzalez vs. Carhart banning intact dilation and extraction ("partial birth abortion") as an acceptable method of "ending fetal life," the Democratic Party blanketed the state of South Carolina for the week preceding its first nationally-televised presidential debate of the season.  All the candidates criticized the Court's decision in Carhart and several denounced it from the stage during the debate.  

Polls, however, demonstrate that two-thirds of Americans oppose late term abortions, as apparently did 63 Congressional Democrats and 17 Senate Democrats when they voted for the federal ban in 2003 - perhaps, before pandering to the deep-pocket Leftist ilk of George Soros and MoveOn.org became de rigueur for the emblematic donkeys. 

The majority opinion in Gonzalez vs. Carhart[i] cited the Congressional Findings of the act, stating, "Congress found ... that "[a] moral, medical, and ethical consensus exists that the practice of performing partial-birth abortion ... is a gruesome and inhumane procedure that is never medically necessary and should be prohibited." [emphasis added]

One debate question addressed to several Democrat candidates was that they give an example of a person, now living, who exemplifies the type of jurist they most wished to appoint to the bench if elected President.  Tellingly, those candidates able to field the question in the short time allotted, named presently-sitting liberal Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

Justice Ginsburg, the only woman currently on the Court, authored the dissenting opinion in Gonzalez vs. Carhart.  Justices Breyer, Stevens, and Souter joined her.  Despite its citation to a plethora of rhetorically relevant case law, Justice Ginsburg's dissent reads like a feminist treatise or a very boring essay in Ms. magazine.  She repeatedly invoked one feminist shibboleth after another - "the right of a woman to choose," "a woman's control over her [own] destiny," "a woman's autonomy to determine her life's course," "safeguarding a woman's health" (the magic buzz word meaning: a woman wants an abortion), "the right of a woman to choose to have an abortion before viability."  In late term abortions, all these literally mean killing a living human fetus that could be viable in an incubator or otherwise. 

At no point does Justice Ginsburg seriously address any "right" or "rights" of the estimated 2,250 infants killed by intact dilation and extraction each year in the United States.

From the Court's opinion, here is the clinical description by Dr. Martin Haskell of what Justice Ginsburg and Justice Breyer believe Congress and the American people should not ban: 

"At this point, the right-handed surgeon ... hooks the shoulders of the fetus with the index and ring fingers (palm down).

"While maintaining this tension, lifting the cervix and applying traction to the shoulders with the fingers of the left hand, the surgeon takes a pair of blunt curved Metzenbaum scissors in the right hand.  He carefully advances the tip... along the spine ...until he feels it contact the base of the skull....

"[T]he surgeon then forces the scissors into the base of the skull....  Having safely entered the skull, he spreads the scissors to enlarge the opening. 

"The surgeon removes the scissors and introduces a suction catheter into this hole and evacuates the skull contents."  Opinion of the Court, p. 7
By "skull contents," Dr. Haskell means infant brains. 

A more frightening description from a nurse who witnessed the same procedure performed on a 26 ½ -week old fetus [easily viable with modern medical technology] and who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, appears in the Court's Opinion at page 8.  It should be required reading for everyone old enough to vote next November.  Or any November thereafter. 

This is what the surgical nurse testified to:
"Dr. Haskell went in with forceps and grabbed the baby's legs and pulled them down into the birth canal.  Then he delivered the baby's body and the arms - everything but the head.[ii]  The doctor kept the head right inside the uterus....

"The baby's little fingers were clasping and unclasping, and his little feet were kicking.  Then the doctor stuck the scissors in the back of his head, and the baby's arms jerked out, like a startle reaction, like a flinch, like a baby does when he thinks he is going to fall. 

"The doctor opened the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening, and sucked the baby's brains out.  Now the baby went completely limp....

"He cut the umbilical cord and delivered the placenta.  He threw the baby in a pan, along with the placenta and the instruments he had just used."[iii]
For the moment, ignore the Hippocratic oath enigma and glaring question of why Dr. Haskell conjured this ghoulish surgical nightmare in the first place, much less has been instrumental in its adoption all across American over the past 15 years.  Instead, concentrate on this fact: the majority, if not all, of the Democrat Presidential candidates are quite explicit in telling us they truly believe that putting more justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court is a good idea.  A moral idea. 

Justice Ginsburg, whom Justice Breyer joined in dissenting, called the majority of her U.S. Supreme Court's colleague's decision to ban intact Dilation and Extraction, "alarming."  She later attacked them for allowing  "moral concerns" "...untethered to any ground genuinely serving the Government's interest in preserving life....[t]o carry the day and case...." Dissenting opinion, p.3 &15.

In the coming Presidential election, All American's, not just would-have-been-"mothers" who chose to kill their unborn children, have a choice.  They can support the Democrat's nominee - any of whom wishes to appoint more Justices like Ginsburg and Breyer - or they can vote for a Republican. 

Any Republican.  Even Rudy.

C. MacLeod Fuller is a writer and trial lawyer licensed in five jurisdictions including the District of Columbia and California.  He lives in South Carolina and is the author of TRōPS: A Social, Cultural, and Political Parody of the Left (2006).


 



[i] Gonzalez vs. Carhart was a challenge to the federal law banning intact dilation and extraction as an acceptable method of aborting later term fetuses.  It was filed by numerous physicians, including Dr. LeRoy Carhart, who perform late second trimester abortions.  They filed their complaint against the United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez in the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska, and challenged the constitutionality of the 2003 ban.  Their case was subsequently combined with a similar California case filed by Planned Parenthood which sought to enjoin enforcement of the act; which action was subsequently joined by the City and County of San Francisco as intervening parties plaintiff.


[ii] Were the physician to fully deliver (just a few more inches out of the "mother" and into the world), rather than partially deliver (thus the moniker, "partial birth" abortion), he would theoretically be faced with the moral and legal dilemma of then being required to do the opposite of this murderous task - standing on his head while using every form of medically extraordinary procedure at hand to insure the survival of a premature baby.  He might even, perish the thought, pray.


[iii] In an amazing bit of Leftist penmanship, columnist Tom Teepen of Cox News Service penned an nationally syndicated editorial in which he chided the Right, derided the Court, and scoffed at "just 0.17 of all U.S. abortions" being intact dilation and extraction.  Mr. Teepen whined that "[t]he anti-abortion folks pounced on it [intact D&E] because the method can be made to sound especially gruesome."  Mr. Teepen's sensibilities fail to inform him that no one has to make crushing the skull of a perfectly-formed healthy baby and sucking out its brains as garbage in a glass sound gruesome.  "Especially" nor otherwise.  Mr. Teepen, by using the mathematical euphemism he apparently found on Wikipedia failed to note that the "just 0.17 percent" of abortions he so blithely dismissed equals at least 2,350 infants.  Each and every year.  And no, such procedures are not "reserved usually for medically difficult circumstances."  Dr. Martin Haskell, the shame of Alabama, who developed the technique stated as long ago as 1993 that at that time he had performed the technique on approximately 1,000 mostly healthy women.

On the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in Gonzalez vs. Carhart banning intact dilation and extraction ("partial birth abortion") as an acceptable method of "ending fetal life," the Democratic Party blanketed the state of South Carolina for the week preceding its first nationally-televised presidential debate of the season.  All the candidates criticized the Court's decision in Carhart and several denounced it from the stage during the debate.  

Polls, however, demonstrate that two-thirds of Americans oppose late term abortions, as apparently did 63 Congressional Democrats and 17 Senate Democrats when they voted for the federal ban in 2003 - perhaps, before pandering to the deep-pocket Leftist ilk of George Soros and MoveOn.org became de rigueur for the emblematic donkeys. 

The majority opinion in Gonzalez vs. Carhart[i] cited the Congressional Findings of the act, stating, "Congress found ... that "[a] moral, medical, and ethical consensus exists that the practice of performing partial-birth abortion ... is a gruesome and inhumane procedure that is never medically necessary and should be prohibited." [emphasis added]

One debate question addressed to several Democrat candidates was that they give an example of a person, now living, who exemplifies the type of jurist they most wished to appoint to the bench if elected President.  Tellingly, those candidates able to field the question in the short time allotted, named presently-sitting liberal Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

Justice Ginsburg, the only woman currently on the Court, authored the dissenting opinion in Gonzalez vs. Carhart.  Justices Breyer, Stevens, and Souter joined her.  Despite its citation to a plethora of rhetorically relevant case law, Justice Ginsburg's dissent reads like a feminist treatise or a very boring essay in Ms. magazine.  She repeatedly invoked one feminist shibboleth after another - "the right of a woman to choose," "a woman's control over her [own] destiny," "a woman's autonomy to determine her life's course," "safeguarding a woman's health" (the magic buzz word meaning: a woman wants an abortion), "the right of a woman to choose to have an abortion before viability."  In late term abortions, all these literally mean killing a living human fetus that could be viable in an incubator or otherwise. 

At no point does Justice Ginsburg seriously address any "right" or "rights" of the estimated 2,250 infants killed by intact dilation and extraction each year in the United States.

From the Court's opinion, here is the clinical description by Dr. Martin Haskell of what Justice Ginsburg and Justice Breyer believe Congress and the American people should not ban: 

"At this point, the right-handed surgeon ... hooks the shoulders of the fetus with the index and ring fingers (palm down).

"While maintaining this tension, lifting the cervix and applying traction to the shoulders with the fingers of the left hand, the surgeon takes a pair of blunt curved Metzenbaum scissors in the right hand.  He carefully advances the tip... along the spine ...until he feels it contact the base of the skull....

"[T]he surgeon then forces the scissors into the base of the skull....  Having safely entered the skull, he spreads the scissors to enlarge the opening. 

"The surgeon removes the scissors and introduces a suction catheter into this hole and evacuates the skull contents."  Opinion of the Court, p. 7
By "skull contents," Dr. Haskell means infant brains. 

A more frightening description from a nurse who witnessed the same procedure performed on a 26 ½ -week old fetus [easily viable with modern medical technology] and who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, appears in the Court's Opinion at page 8.  It should be required reading for everyone old enough to vote next November.  Or any November thereafter. 

This is what the surgical nurse testified to:
"Dr. Haskell went in with forceps and grabbed the baby's legs and pulled them down into the birth canal.  Then he delivered the baby's body and the arms - everything but the head.[ii]  The doctor kept the head right inside the uterus....

"The baby's little fingers were clasping and unclasping, and his little feet were kicking.  Then the doctor stuck the scissors in the back of his head, and the baby's arms jerked out, like a startle reaction, like a flinch, like a baby does when he thinks he is going to fall. 

"The doctor opened the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening, and sucked the baby's brains out.  Now the baby went completely limp....

"He cut the umbilical cord and delivered the placenta.  He threw the baby in a pan, along with the placenta and the instruments he had just used."[iii]
For the moment, ignore the Hippocratic oath enigma and glaring question of why Dr. Haskell conjured this ghoulish surgical nightmare in the first place, much less has been instrumental in its adoption all across American over the past 15 years.  Instead, concentrate on this fact: the majority, if not all, of the Democrat Presidential candidates are quite explicit in telling us they truly believe that putting more justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court is a good idea.  A moral idea. 

Justice Ginsburg, whom Justice Breyer joined in dissenting, called the majority of her U.S. Supreme Court's colleague's decision to ban intact Dilation and Extraction, "alarming."  She later attacked them for allowing  "moral concerns" "...untethered to any ground genuinely serving the Government's interest in preserving life....[t]o carry the day and case...." Dissenting opinion, p.3 &15.

In the coming Presidential election, All American's, not just would-have-been-"mothers" who chose to kill their unborn children, have a choice.  They can support the Democrat's nominee - any of whom wishes to appoint more Justices like Ginsburg and Breyer - or they can vote for a Republican. 

Any Republican.  Even Rudy.

C. MacLeod Fuller is a writer and trial lawyer licensed in five jurisdictions including the District of Columbia and California.  He lives in South Carolina and is the author of TRōPS: A Social, Cultural, and Political Parody of the Left (2006).


 



[i] Gonzalez vs. Carhart was a challenge to the federal law banning intact dilation and extraction as an acceptable method of aborting later term fetuses.  It was filed by numerous physicians, including Dr. LeRoy Carhart, who perform late second trimester abortions.  They filed their complaint against the United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez in the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska, and challenged the constitutionality of the 2003 ban.  Their case was subsequently combined with a similar California case filed by Planned Parenthood which sought to enjoin enforcement of the act; which action was subsequently joined by the City and County of San Francisco as intervening parties plaintiff.


[ii] Were the physician to fully deliver (just a few more inches out of the "mother" and into the world), rather than partially deliver (thus the moniker, "partial birth" abortion), he would theoretically be faced with the moral and legal dilemma of then being required to do the opposite of this murderous task - standing on his head while using every form of medically extraordinary procedure at hand to insure the survival of a premature baby.  He might even, perish the thought, pray.


[iii] In an amazing bit of Leftist penmanship, columnist Tom Teepen of Cox News Service penned an nationally syndicated editorial in which he chided the Right, derided the Court, and scoffed at "just 0.17 of all U.S. abortions" being intact dilation and extraction.  Mr. Teepen whined that "[t]he anti-abortion folks pounced on it [intact D&E] because the method can be made to sound especially gruesome."  Mr. Teepen's sensibilities fail to inform him that no one has to make crushing the skull of a perfectly-formed healthy baby and sucking out its brains as garbage in a glass sound gruesome.  "Especially" nor otherwise.  Mr. Teepen, by using the mathematical euphemism he apparently found on Wikipedia failed to note that the "just 0.17 percent" of abortions he so blithely dismissed equals at least 2,350 infants.  Each and every year.  And no, such procedures are not "reserved usually for medically difficult circumstances."  Dr. Martin Haskell, the shame of Alabama, who developed the technique stated as long ago as 1993 that at that time he had performed the technique on approximately 1,000 mostly healthy women.