Partial Birth Abortion Controversy, Part I

Doctor David Grundman, director of Planned Parenthood Center, classified all pregnant women, who are offered partial birth abortion into five categories:

Partial Birth Abortion(1) women, whose babies are diagnosed to be with different abnormalities,

(2) women, who suffer any type of crisis: social, psychological, mental, etc.,

(3) women, who were not aware of their pregnancy before due to some physical abnormalities, like amenorrhea,

(4) extremely young women, who did not reach maternal maturity, and

(5) intellectually defected women, who did not know the basics of biology.

Therefore, the main reasons of launching partial birth abortion operations were attempts to avoid risks for a mother and to stop development of diagnosed hard fetal abnormalities. One of partial birth abortion supporters, Kate Michelman, the President of NARAL Pro-Choice America organization, wrote in a Scripps Howard News published June 16, 1996: “Late-term abortions are only used under the most compelling of circumstances– to protect a woman’s health or life or because of grave fetal abnormality …. nearly all abortions are performed in the first trimester.” In the other press release of Planned Parenthood Federation of America it is stated that the procedure of PBA is “done only in cases when the woman’s life is in danger or in cases of extreme fetal abnormality.”

In December 1995 American Senate passed with 54-44 margin the Act, banning partial birth abortion in the United States. But in April 1996 President Bill Clinton vetoed this act, grounding his decision with support of health and life of American women and with reported popularity of IDX method for interrupting pregnancy. Six years later, in January 2003, government of George Bush adapted Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, which officially makes performing partial birth abortion illegal in the USA. But, of course, in practice it did not result in total prohibition and termination of this method of abortion, and still there are more than 2,000 partial birth abortion operations are being performed every year in our country.

In our times, the issue of partial birth abortion is one of the most arguable and controversial in public understanding. The main subject of discussions between supporters and opponents of partial birth abortion is based on special cases of both mother’s and baby’s health, which can make the procedure of partial birth abortion preferable to lower the risks. In cases when the fetus is diagnosed with serious defects or serious health conditions like cerebral palsy or others, many pregnant women choose to avoid brining such kind of child to the world and dedicating their lives to supporting and serving such kids. Undoubtedly, it is a huge misery for any mom to see her children being unable to succeed or achieve something usual and quite ordinary for other kids.

But, first of all, many critics of partial birth abortion find this act morally and ethically wrong, as any sort of abortion is, according to their opinion. Such people claim right to live for unborn babies, as they are already God’s creatures, but too very weak and small to protect themselves. Partial birth abortion is an extremely sensitive issue from moral and ethical points of view. Besides, it is obvious from practice, that during the procedure unborn babies feel pain: this fact makes guilt and responsibility of all the participants of such a crime grow hundredfold, and partial birth abortion becomes a terrible deliberate physical assault.


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