House to vote on late-term abortion ban

 

United_States_Capitol_Building

Here’s your early warning of next week’s big political fight:

“The House of Representatives will vote on a bill next week that would ban nearly all late-term abortions, House majority leader Kevin McCarthy tells the Weekly Standard. The legislation would establish a national limit on abortion at 20 weeks after conception — five months into pregnancy — which is the gestational age at which infants can of feel pain and survive long-term if born prematurely.

“‘Life is precious and we must do everything we can to fight for it and protect it,’ said McCarthy, a California Republican. ‘Our commitment for the House to consider this important legislation has been steadfast and I am proud of the work of our members to prepare this bill for House consideration next week.'”

The left will howl once again about social conservatives run amok, but the unlimited-abortion-on-demand lobby are the real extremists here. The United States is one of only seven countries to allow elective abortions after 20 weeks; the others are China, North Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Canada and the Netherlands. Other countries still allow abortions after that point under certain circumstances, and the U.S. still would, too, under this law. A previous disagreement within the House GOP caucus about reporting requirements for rape victims who seek an abortion after 20 weeks — there wasn’t, and isn’t, any talk about such restrictions for such women before the 20-week mark — has been resolved, the Weekly Standard’s Michael Warren reports:

“The bill (previously) required the crime to be reported to law enforcement officials at any point prior to performing a late-term abortion.

“According to House Republicans, that requirement has been removed from the bill. Instead, the legislation requires abortion doctors to ensure that victims have received either medical treatment or licensed counseling at least 48 hours prior to the late-term procedure. With that change, the bill has assuaged the concerns of those Republican members while still garnering strong support of national pro-life groups, including the National Right to Life Committee and the Susan B. Anthony List.

“‘I’m proud we’ve gotten to a point where we found a consensus between our members and the pro-life groups out there,’ said Rep. Diane Black of Tennessee.”

Again, these requirements apply only after the 20-week period during which elective abortions would remain legal.

It’s not only the vast majority of other countries that see good reason to restrict late-term abortions. Americans have become more and more dissatisfied with our current, permissive abortion laws over the past decade and a half. While about half of Democrats polled by Gallup earlier this year said they were satisfied, those were dissatisfied were as likely to say they’d like to see more restrictions as to say they wanted fewer. Independents were about 2.5 times as likely to say they wanted more restrictions and, unsurprisingly, Republicans were six times as likely to seek more restrictions.

While Republican presidential candidates are being asked if they’d attend a gay wedding, perhaps it’s time for reporters to ask Democratic candidates if they support elective abortions once the fetus is capable of feeling pain and of living after a premature birth. That’d be helpful if we truly want to determine who’s an out-of-touch extremist when it comes to social issues.

Reader Comments 0

96 comments
stogiefogey
stogiefogey

This kind of thing drives away more potential voters than it attracts. As Kyle himself noted in a column awhile back it sometimes seems like the Republicans are willing to forego winning elections if that's the cost of protecting the ideological agenda. 

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

But while I know you prefer your science frozen in amber once its conclusions match your own, that's not how it works.


You nailed it Kyle, that maybe the post of the year!   Party of science, my foot!

TheRealJDW
TheRealJDW

While I am not a fan of the proceedure, I prefer my elected officials to accomplish something rather than squander thier time tilting at windmills....and that is what this is...a waste of time tilting at windmills.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@TheRealJDW Ah, that perennial red herring, "accomplish something rather than squander their time tilting at windmills," said about a body that typically meets three or four days a week.

When they are working long hours, five days a week, and having trouble getting to all the bills on their docket, I'll start worrying about squandered time.

bu2
bu2

@Kyle_Wingfield @TheRealJDW 


Symbols can be important.  Obama's first act as president didn't have anything to do with jobs.  He funded organizations overseas that do abortions  Yes, he will veto it, but it will also show Democrat's values and how out of touch the party is with even the majority of their own voters.

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

As an aside: "Life is precious and we must do everything we can to fight for it and protect it,’ said McCarthy, a California Republican."


Then how about universal healthcare?  An important piece missing from all the wonderful "life is precious" talk that Republicans go on about, they neglect so many after birth.  The reason much of this sounds so political is that they talk a good game about life being precious, but be-damned if they don't do all they can to make life difficult for a great many people who just want good healthcare. 

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@LogicalDude "be-damned if they don't do all they can to make life difficult for a great many people who just want good healthcare"

I'd take issue with your characterization of conservatives' position on health care. No one wants to "make life difficult," but many of us think Medicaid doesn't equal "good health care" and that there are better ways to do it (which, before you ask, I have written about before and will write about again).

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@Kyle_Wingfield @LogicalDude "I'd take issue with your characterization of conservatives' position on health care. "

I wish the perception was different as well.  I know there are a bunch of common-sense Republicans and conservatives out there, but they don't get a good voice at the top.   Way too many Republicans come across that way, though;  and I'd like a better solution from Republicans than trying to stop any progress on getting more people covered.  

Glad you are giving some of the common-sense conservatives a voice on this piece. It's rare. 

Likewise
Likewise

@Kyle_Wingfield @LogicalDude  It's my understanding from comments I have heard from leading Republican politicians that they consider the emergency room as a major component of health care for all. 

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

" once the fetus is capable of feeling pain and of living after a premature birth."


IF the scientific consensus says 20 weeks, then I'll agree with 20 weeks.  However, if the scientific consensus says 24 weeks, then I'll agree with 24 weeks. 


My argument all along has been that a separate human life is there if the brainwave activity justifies it.  If an almost-dead human is declared brain-dead and there are no moral issues with removing them from life-support, then a similarly brain-dead fetus is certainly not a human either and pregnancy can be terminated with no moral issues. 


The 20 week measure, as in recent "fetal pain" bills, sounds purely political in nature and aiming to reduce and eliminate safe abortions overall.  A vast majority of abortions after this stage are for the mother's health anyway, although that should not stop a woman from changing her mind about her life and electing to terminate the pregnancy. 

Likewise
Likewise

Since the Democrats have brought the economy back from near catastrophe, it's time for the Republicans to do what they know best.  Legislate morality for the extremists.  They certainly don't know how to do anything else. 

Juanx
Juanx

Now if only the Republicans cared as much for live people. The Republicans need to get their heads out of women's wombs.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

I really tried to read the entire Weakly Standard piece, but by page two the stench became overwhelming.

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

http://scienceprogress.org/2013/04/navigating-the-junk-science-of-fetal-pain/


comprehensive studies of fetal pain have concluded that fetuses do not feel pain at the 20-week mark. And the most exhaustive review of studies finds that claims of fetal pain are unsupported by peer-reviewed science. These studies suggest that while the neural pathways to experience pain begin forming around 23 weeks gestation, the pathways are not functional and cannot transmit the noxious stimuli to the brain before 29 or 30 weeks.


There is ZERO debate about this


ZERO

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@HeadleyLamar Perhaps in 2005, the publication date of that "exhaustive review of studies" which were done even earlier, there was "zero debate." But while I know you prefer your science frozen in amber once its conclusions match your own, that's not how it works.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Veto and move on, President Obama. Let these fools call you a "baby killer," it's nothing they haven't lobbed at you before.

Aquagirl
Aquagirl

Another op-ed piece based on ideology and theoretical constructs----Kyle is obviously in a better position to judge these matters than the woman involved and her physician. What on earth makes conservatives so egotistical to think their judgement trumps the actual people dealing with the situation?

Aquagirl
Aquagirl

@RafeHollister It's not egotism, it's respect for an actual walking around, talking human being. Who probably did not decide to get a late-term abortion because she was busy having her nails done. 

How would you like it if I could demand the use of one of your kidneys, and you had no say over my use of your bodily parts? I bet you'd have an opinion and would want your wishes considered.

Aquagirl
Aquagirl

@Kyle_Wingfield Oh, and if you read my example as fetus=kidney, work on those reading comprehension skills.

Aquagirl
Aquagirl

@Kyle_Wingfield Why? It's demanding the use of someone else's body for survival. Real, actual walking talking human beings who can undeniably feel pain die every day waiting for a kidney. So why is a fetus entitled to my uterus, but a dialysis patient is not entitled to my kidney?

Because men have kidneys, that's why.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Aquagirl I don't know how else to read the analogy. If you were suggesting the issue is simply the "use of (one's) bodily parts," I would say the analogy falls apart once we add the other life to the equation, which clearly isn't a factor in any other situation.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Aquagirl "Why? It's demanding the use of someone else's body for survival."

So does a 2-week-old. As I told Headley earlier, there's nothing about this logic that precludes it from being used in relation to child after birth.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Aquagirl What makes you so egotistical that you know what the baby feels and that it doesn't wish to have any say in the decision.

Aquagirl
Aquagirl

@Kyle_Wingfield It's not the use of one's bodily parts, it's your *right to own your body.* You get to decide if, when, and where you donate blood for another person's use. You get to decide if, when, and where you donate your kidney even after you are dead.

We have no laws forcing anyone to provide parts of their bodies even when another person's life is at stake....except when that part is a uterus. 

Why you can't acknowledge this cognitive dissonance is no mystery to me----conservatives don't like the implications.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Aquagirl And why you can't acknowledge the difference between a separate life outside one's body and a life one helped create inside one's own body is no mystery to me -- you don't like the implications.

Aquagirl
Aquagirl

@Kyle_Wingfield Oh, then if a 2-week old needs a kidney, our system of law demands mom/dad/other person selected give it up? My apologies. I thought we were legally entitled to say no. I missed the re-interpretation of law that you are obviously referring to. 

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Aquagirl I was referring more to the 2-week-old's general need of the use of someone else's body. I didn't think the discussion had to be restricted to kidneys, not least since they have nothing to do with what we're discussing.

Aquagirl
Aquagirl

@Kyle_Wingfield Why the difference? According to you they're both living human beings, I don't accord one more weight because of some mushy, muddled rumination about the bay-beez. 

You're the perfect example of a Republican, worshiping the fetus while ignoring the undeniably living people who are already here. 

Aquagirl
Aquagirl

@NorthAtlanta Oh, goodness, devastating response there. 

I'm sure you find it irritating for me to point out people---real, fully formed walking, talking people---are dying right now because we afford more rights to a corpse than a pregnant woman. That's what's sick and twisted.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

Not much to add to what you said here, the majority of people would like to see an end to late term abortions.  The proggies seem to think we should always emulate the socialist progressive Europeans, except for abortion limits.  If the baby is viable, how could anyone in good conscious snip its spinal column? 

Caius
Caius

The House will take the vote, it will go to the Senate and die a natural death as usual with "do it for the base" bills.  Whatever happened to the House and Senate getting together and working out a bill in advance of a vote?

straker 1 hour ago 

"life is precious and we must do everything we can to fight for it and protect it"

Unfortunately, after birth, its "let them eat cake".

Good point straker. The term "pro life" should mean "in favor of life", period, end of discussion. But unfortunately it has come to mean just "anti-abortion" for many people.  I am pro life - across the board on all issues effecting life.



straker
straker

Kyle, if Republicans in Congress showed half as much concern for poor young children in America as they supposedly do for the unborn, I might believe their "concerns".


As it is, this looks like nothing but a cynical and contemptible pandering for the fundamentalist Christian vote.

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

@Finn-McCool They think they are on the right side of this issue and i'll admit if Americans buy the 20 week pain lie they will be. I wouldn't be for abortion after 20 weeks if the fetus was in pain


But we know that isn't true. Hopefully those facts will be clear to Americans so they can make an informed vs uniformed decision. 

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@LogicalDude Note that several of the studies referenced in her footnotes were published after 2005, the year Headley's "exhaustive review" of such studies was published.

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

The fetus not viable part is important here too


This does happen and I would assume make up a good bit of those 1 percent of abortions happening after 20 weeks


Lets say doctors notice something wrong with the fetus. They inform the mother that there will be sever deformities and that the child will not live long and be in agonizing pain.


Isnt it the humane thing to do to end that pregnancy.


Instead of forcing a child to develop the ability to feel pain and then live a short life in hellish pain ?


Many grave, even lethal fetal anomalies aren't discovered until or near 20 weeks, at which point some women decide to terminate a pregnancy. Bans will prevent reputable doctors from performing those abortions


Who is the extremist here ?

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@HeadleyLamar Your position would permit the likes of Kermit Gosnell. Mine would promote the birth of a lot of children who weren't "supposed to be" viable but turned out to be so.

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

@Kyle_Wingfield @HeadleyLamar Your position would permit the likes of Kermit Gosnell. 

Another myth


For starters, Gosnell flouted Pennsylvania's 24-week ban, in the process killing three fetuses born alive. An earlier ban would probably have been no greater deterrent.

Moreover, many grave, even lethal fetal anomalies aren't discovered until or near 20 weeks, at which point some women decide to terminate a pregnancy. Bans will prevent reputable doctors from performing those abortions, leaving a void that criminals such as Gosnell will slither in to fill.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terry-oneill/fraud-and-betrayal-over-t_b_6512050.html

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@HeadleyLamar "Probably," from a piece written by a pro-choice advocate -- more of Headley's "science."

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

@Kyle_Wingfield @HeadleyLamar Yes


And when Americans aren't lied to about the 20 week pain myth they always agree whomever is doing the polling


When they are lied to about the pain thing of course they vote for no pain.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@HeadleyLamar A poll sponsored by Planned Parenthood came to a conclusion Planned Parenthood likes? Someone get Capt. Renault on the phone!

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@HeadleyLamar And when they're given incomplete information that irresponsibly labels opposing research as "myth," they unsurprisingly side with the propagandist.