What Partial Birth Abortion Actually Is (And Why Even Pro-Lifers Should Ignore The Controversy)

Let me preface this by saying that while I am pro-choice, I would favor a ban on late-term abortions that are not medically necessary to protect the health of the mother.

Partial Birth Abortion is a political term, not a medical one, referring to a medical procedure called Intact Dilation and Extraction, or I D&E, which is for removing a dead fetus from the womb, whether it is stillborn or aborted, (often to save the life of the mother) intact.  It, like many medical procedures, is pretty gross.  Basically you take the dead fetus out by the legs until you can see the neck, put a tube up the neck, remove the brain by suction which collapses the skull, and allows the head to be removed vaginally without cutting the woman open to remove the fetus.  Before this happens the fetus is typically killed by injection in the case of late-term abortions (which are relatively rare), or has died as a result of miscarriage, but is not due to be born yet and must be removed for obvious medical reasons, but is too large to pass out of the woman’s body without either invasive surgery or removing the fetus in pieces, which can be just a wee bit traumatic for the mother.

So, in comes the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, a law which would BAN this evil, disgusting abortion practice once and for all!

The legal argument is that killing a fetus is legally murder however premature it is, once it passes through the birth canal, so they call this procedure “partial birth” abortion to suggest that the fetus is “partially born” and therefore it’s murder.  So they want to make it ILLEGAL to…  remove a fetus vaginally without cutting it apart first, or cutting the woman open to remove it.

Even if you want to ban abortion, this law only makes abortion more gory, horrifying for the mother (especially in cases where a pro-life mother has an abortion to save her own life) more painful and medically invasive and more expensive, as opposed to Intact D&E which is a non-invasive out-patient procedure. 

Which brings me to a central theme of conservative politics.  They don’t care about what you care about, pro-lifers.  The politicians care about using you to get elected.  They had overwhelming political power under the bush administration, they controlled the house, senate, white house AND supreme court, every single branch of federal government simultaneously.  They had such a wide majority in congress that it took not one but two landslide elections for the democrats to get a small majority.  And is gay marriage illegal?  Is abortion illegal?  Have there been any attempts to further the agenda they tout to get themselves elected that are not symbolic or totally impotent? 

The partial birth abortion ban act is just another example of a totally meaningless bill designed to keep the fires of pro-lifers passions alive with no intent to ever give them anything they want.

The republicans in congress don’t want to ban gay marriage or ban abortion.  If they did how would they get elected again?  Abortion is their bread and butter and they know it.  They get elected with the debate, not the solution to any of our problems.  So they keep the problems around so they can win the debate, get elected and do nothing.

I’m not even pro-life and I’m sick of it!


About agnophilo

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21 Responses to What Partial Birth Abortion Actually Is (And Why Even Pro-Lifers Should Ignore The Controversy)

  1. trunthepaige says:

    Can’t really argue ripping a baby into pieces and and the sometimes dangerous injections into a babies heart are no better. At one time they just induced but well the damn things, some of them lived.

  2. agnophilo says:

    @trunthepaige – My point is that they’re banning the least invasive form of late-term abortion to make abortion more invasive and gory and traumatic for the mother, not get rid of it.

  3. trunthepaige says:

    @agnophilo – Like I said I wasn’t arguing other than with your blatantly untrue statement about babies all being dead before the procedure, and that this has anything to do with the life of the mother. When the life of the mother is endangered in the last trimester, they do not put her into labor. That is just not how it is done, it defeats the purpose. Babies that have already died, can we all say “red herring”. There is not a law proposed or in effect that keeps a doctor removing the body in any effective way he choses to do so.

  4. @trunthepaige – This wasn’t even an argument supporting abortion. It was an explanation of a commonly misunderstood concept in an attempt to help people on both sides better understand the argument. You are a perfect example of the difference between arguing with someone and arguing past someone.@agnophilo – Once again, I learned something from you that I didn’t even know that I didn’t know. You are definitely one of my favorite subscriptions.

  5. trunthepaige says:

    @The_Brink_of_Omniscience – No yours was a classic example of not reading what I wrote

  6. “They get elected with the debate, not the solution to any of ourproblems.  So they keep the problems around so they can win the debate,get elected and do nothing.”At risk of sounding pessimistic, is this not the goal of most if not all politicians?  I mean I like to think some of them actually want to improve things, but it takes the group of them cooperating to get anything done, and we know that isn’t going to happen.  I’m surprised more politicians aren’t actors on the side…

  7. agnophilo says:

    @trunthepaige – “Like I said I wasn’t arguing other than withyour blatantly untrue statement about babies all being dead before theprocedure,” Support your accusations with fact please.  And no, not some ranting pro-life website, a neutral, clinical source.”and that this has anything to do with the life of themother. When the life of the mother is endangered in the lasttrimester, they do not put her into labor. That is just not how it isdone, it defeats the purpose.” No, there are numerous reasons a pregnancy must be terminated, and in most cases it is because the strain of the pregnancy on one or more organs is killing or severely harming the mother, and the pregnancy has to be terminated, in which case the least invasive form of abortion puts the least strain on the mother.  Intact D&E is not child labor, it is a way to avoid the trauma of child labor.  Not to mention that I D&E is used as early as 15 weeks, not just in the last trimester.”Babies that have already died, can we allsay “red herring”.” No, can we say “clinical description of the procedure”.”There is not a law proposed or in effect that keepsa doctor removing the body in any effective way he choses to do so.””Partial birth abortion” is exactly the same procedure as that which is used to remove a dead late-term fetus that didn’t make it.  The only difference is that in one case it is killed before it is removed, usually because it cannot survive outside the womb, and in the other case it is already dead.  The procedure after that is identical.Why don’t you try addressing some of my conclusions?

  8. @trunthepaige – No, the red power ranger is the coolest one!

  9. agnophilo says:

    @The_Brink_of_Omniscience – Thanks : D  That’s a very nice thing to say.@Rain_of_Mystic_Sorrow – Nice veiled reagan jab : P  But yeah, that is the goal of most politicians, but people on the “liberal” side generally actually try to change things, thus someone like obama gets accused of trying to do “too much”.  I was debating about abortion and this stuff came up, so I thought I’d blog about it, and I just wanted to warn pro-lifers that they’re being lied to.  A lot.

  10. Morgane says:

    The term “pro-life” is just as offensive as partial-birth, to be honest.  The notion that people who think women have a right to choose what happens to their bodies are anti-life is ridiculous, especially when those on the anti-abortion side of things are frequently the same ones so gung-ho on invading foreign nations and killing tens of thousands of civilians there.  I don’t like the idea of late-term abortions, but without access to medical facilities which will perform this process legally, there’d be at least a partial return to the days of coat-hangers and women dying because some back-street hack told her he could take care of it.  And when there’s a medical need for such a process, it should be provided without hesitation, because you can bet your ass that the woman is already traumatised beyond belief and the idea of losing a child that was actually very much planned for and wanted is hard enough for anyone to take.  The last round of legislation that was tabled didn’t even allow so-called “partial-birth” abortion in cases where the mother’s life was at stake, which is pretty much the sole reason it’s not illegal right now, because only the most rabid right-wingnuts could vote for something that could cost lives. I think it’s fallacious to assume that the right wing pin all of their hopes on keeping abortion and gay marriage legal so they can rail against it, though – the Republican party is currently in such a state that they couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery.  Yes, they’re certainly typical key planks but there are moderate Republicans out there who actually espouse a woman’s choice and the right of Mary and Jane to get married.  They’re the ones running on traditional tickets – fiscal conservatives who actually are relatively liberal, socially speaking – people like the fairly fabulous Olympia Snowe.  To be honest, I think the Republican party has over the years raised a huge amount of money from such extremists on the right that their party position has followed suit.  They follow the money, policy wise, but nobody’s going to keep paying someone to do something they’ve been trying to do for THIS long and failing to achieve – they need new ideas, especially since the majority of people in America actually don’t give a hoot about gay marriage, and most people are in favour of a woman’s right to choose.

  11. agnophilo says:

    @Morgane – All true.  Though I didn’t mean to imply that these two issues were the only issues all conservatives are about.

  12. trunthepaige says:

    @agnophilo – Oh please they did congressional hearings on that subject, read the testimony yourself. I am not even pointing it out for you. Your ignorance needs to be intentional not to know that the procedure was used on live fetuses.And the reason that the procedure was banned was a legal cases called Row v Wade and one more case not siting on top of my head right now. The Court  held that abortion after viability must be available when needed to protect a woman’s health. The court stated that “health” must include mental heath, in other words depression. They could not get a law through at that time to ban aborting healthy babies in the last trimester.

  13. Sad as it is, I fear you will only bring more information to those who would likely have agreed with you in the first place. I find most often that those on the “pro-life” side of the issue don’t actually care to learn about the procedures other than to use certain points as ammunition. Granted, this is not all of them, just a sampling from my extensive experience with them. I can say quite honestly that most of them don’t even want to think about whether or not they are making valid claims. Oh and don’t mind paige. She won’t debate with you in any sensible manner. The best you can do is block the poor girl. She doesn’t know any better.

  14. agnophilo says:

    @trunthepaige – Sorry, the burden of proof is on someone making the claim.  Prove it, or withdraw your claim.  The rest of your response makes no sense.@ElliottStrange – You’re probably right.  But no, I don’t block people unless they’re abusing my site somehow, ie spamming.

  15. Politicians.  *Sigh.*I wasn’t offended by your earlier comment against religion.  Some spots in the Bible do appear “holey,” but I haven’t come across any that seem truly irreconcilable given some thought/research.  “Fantastical claims” are not a problem for me.  IF there is a very powerful creator God, then it seems reasonable that he could break the laws of nature that he established, if he so chose.What is it in particular in the Bible that you have a problem with?  Not trying to start a debate, just curious.   

  16. agnophilo says:

    @goodnessgraceness – Well in the bible there are sorcerors and people who do magic without the biblical god’s help.  Plus are you saying that there is no claim fantastic enough that it’s unreasonable so long as you invoke a fantastic enough magical being?  Wouldn’t that make every religion true?  Wouldn’t you have to prove that fantastical being existed to legitimize the fantastic claims in the bible?So far as what in the bible I object to, as mark twain put it, the bible contains noble poetry, some good morals, a wealth of obscenity and upwards of a thousand lies.  Parts of the bible tell you to set your daughter on fire, force a rape victim to marry her rapist, kill your children for disobedience, kill people for being near an infidel.  It tells you what you should pay for your slaves and who you should take as slaves (based on race, of course).  It condones or instructs at some time and place almost every atrocity I can think of.  So morally it’s kind of “holey”.  Logically?  God creates man knowing he will disobey him, waits for man to disobey him, then decides to punish him for it for thousands of years, then decides one day that he wants to forgive man, but he won’t unless they impale his beloved son to death first (wtf?).  So he sends himself (who is also his son) to be killed by us, so he can forgive us for something two people in a garden did thousands of years before we were born.  Then he mercifully only sends almost all of us to hell because the sins we actually do commit warrant eternal punishment.If I told you this and you’d never heard the bible you would look at me like I was insane.  Just like if I tried to convince you santa was really real, but any person can believe that if they’e indoctrinated or desperate enough.I won’t go into historical “holeyness” etc.  I think you get my point.

  17. “They don’t care about what you care about, pro-lifers.  The politicians care about using you to get elected.”–The same could be said about the Democrat party. Politicians by definition use people to get into power. The alternative is a hereditary aristocracy/nobility, or some form of anarchy.  I would certainly be willing to try the latter, which is infinitely preferable to the despotism we are heading into.One reason why the Republicans didn’t do anything regarding abortion is because most of them are not social conservatives, and many of them are not even fiscal conservatives.  The Republican party has been appropriated largely by neo-cons.  I have to disagree that if abortion was illegalized and if “gay marriage” was no longer an issue that people would stop voting Republican.  People would vote for them for economic reasons, because their economic policy is more sound (although not by a large margin).  Will liberals stop voting for Democrats just because Obamacare got passed?  What is the alternative to voting Republican for Christians and conservatives? 

  18. @Morgane – You do have the right to choose what to do with your body.  Don’t have sex and you won’t get pregnant.  When you spread your legs for some guy then you already made your choice.  No one else made you do that, it was a personal choice.  Don’t tell me that you HAVE to have sex.  I have never had sex before and my sex drive is at least 7x greater than what you have.  So it is a matter of being pro-abortion rather than “pro-choice.”  I’m not saying it should be illegal for you to have sex if that is what you are dead set on doing, but we have a disagreement when you want someone else to pay for your indescretion with their life.  The baby is in your body but it is not your body.  You’re making a choice for someone else when you get an abortion.

  19. agnophilo says:

    @Ambrosius_Augustus_Rex – So the republican party is made up mostly of neo-cons who don’t care about the concerns of social conservatives, which invalidates my claim that most republican congressmen don’t care about the concerns of social conservatives?  And the point was that they pretend to care about issues they do not care about.  I don’t believe it is 100% necessary to create an entirely false facade in order to get elected in america.@Ambrosius_Augustus_Rex – By that logic someone who crosses the road without looking and is hit by a car should be left to die because “they made their choice”.  It is an unbelievably callous and shitty way of looking at people.  And how exactly did you establish that your sex drive is seven times mine?  And this blog doesn’t touch on the morality or immorality of abortion, do you have anything relevant to say?

  20. @agnophilo – I wasn’t trying to invalidate your claim on that.  I was saying “What is the alternative?”  Surely you can’t expect us to vote Democrat.  At the end of the day we are going to still vote Republican because the alternative is to vote Democrat.Dude, that other comment wasn’t even directed at you.  Check the name after the @ symbol.  I was talking to that girl not you.  Women have a small smidgen of a sex drive compared with what we have.  Check my 2nd most recent blog entry.  But for the sake of argument, that analogy is terrible.  How is getting pregnant comparable to getting hit by a car?  Also, if you get hit by a car maybe it’s not your fault, but if you have sex then you know full well that pregnancy is a possible consequence.  If you want to make adult choices you need to learn to accept the consequences.

Speak yer mind.

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