Friday, April 20, 2007

Good news and bad news

By now, everybody not living under a rock has heard about the tragedy at Virginia Tech, has seen the photos of the victims being carried out, and has the home-made video of the killer spewing his hatred on pretty much anything and everything. Virtually every media outlet has offered up memorials to the victims and their families. I pray that God will use this tragedy to bring people closer to himself, that they will be comforted during their time of sorrow.

Amidst this horrible news, a piece of incredibly good news occurred that got lost in the VT coverage. This week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the nationwide ban on the abortion procedure called Dilation and Extraction, or more commonly known as “partial birth abortion.” In a 5-4 decision, the justices determined that the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act doesn’t violate a woman’s “constitutional right to abortion.”

(**Caution: the following is somewhat graphic and extremely disturbing in nature. If you can read this without being affected, you might want to check your pulse.**)

A partial birth abortion is one in which a baby (yes, it is a baby, not just some blob/fetus) is partially brought into this world, with the exception of its head, thus circumventing the “legal” definition of a “person” being one who has taken a breath of air. With the baby still inside the mother, the doctor slides a pair of scissors up the baby’s spine until it comes into contact with the base of the skull, at which point the doctor pierces the skull, widens the hole, and then uses a suction catheter to literally suck out all the contents of the baby’s skull. The baby’s body is then pulled entirely from the mother’s body and disposed of.

The reasoning behind the justices’ decision was that opponents of the act had not shown that such a procedure would be necessary for the health and wellbeing of the mother. Additionally, Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said that the procedure “had a disturbing similarity to the killing of a newborn infant.” While the decision does not prevent the immoral act of abortion, it does prevent using this horrific method, reducing the pain that a baby would endure. This ruling is certainly a huge step in the right direction of protecting the lives of unborn children across our nation.

Of course, there are still the groups that cry out saying that “politicians are playing doctor” and that it “flies in the face of…the best interest of women’s health and safety.” It sickens me that some groups will fight tooth & nail to prevent the inhumane treatment of animals who are on their way to the slaughterhouse (such as packing them in to trucks and not being given enough room, etc), yet don’t care one bit about the excruciating pain a baby goes through during a partial-birth abortion. There is so much talk about a woman’s “right to choose” that the baby’s right to life is overlooked. The right-to-choose side will most often present abortion as a means of saving a mother when the procedure will save the mother, or perhaps when a woman is impregnated due to rape. However, studies have shown that the vast majority of abortions are not for health reasons or for rape, but rather for social reasons (i.e., an unwed mother or an unwanted pregnancy.)

I applaud the Justices for their decision and look forward to the day when the despicable act of abortion is outlawed entirely. This week definitely had good news amidst the bad.

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