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House Votes to Outlaw 'Partial Birth' Abortion

June 09, 2003

Re "House Votes to Outlaw 'Partial Birth' Abortions," June 5: The "partial birth" abortion ban is a bill that is long overdue. Partial-birth abortions are performed at 20 weeks' gestation and beyond. Legal, moral and personal issues aside, there are significant risks to the woman at the time of the abortion and to her future fertility. As the procedure involves forcibly turning the baby to a breech position, feet first, this could pull the placenta off the wall of the uterus, causing hemorrhaging, or even rupture the woman's uterus. There is additional concern about causing an amniotic embolism, not to mention the risk to future fertility caused by the three-day procedure.

Many babies aborted through this procedure could sustain life outside the womb, through C-section, should there be a remote chance of the mother's health being in danger. Hundreds of doctors have gone on record saying that partial-birth abortion is never medically necessary to protect a woman's health. Let us be thankful that Congress is seeing partial-birth abortion for what it is -- a threat to women's health and a step down the slippery slope to infanticide.

Bernadette Gonzalez

Exec. Dir., Right to Life

League of Southern

California, Pasadena

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Respect for the rule of law is a fundamental tenet of conservatism. As such, conservatives should oppose the proposed ban on partial-birth abortion. Why? Not because of the enigmatic, ill-defined "right to privacy" but because nothing in the Constitution authorizes the federal government to pass such a law. (The authors of the bill rely on the commerce clause!) A true conservative would demonstrate respect for the rule of law and the limits imposed by our written Constitution by opposing the ban on partial-birth abortion.

Nicholas Buccola

Pasadena

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