The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Womens’ right to life

President Bush, G.O.P. pass ban without any provision for a woman’s health

On Nov. 5, President Bush signed the Partial Birth Abortion BanAct. Anti-abortionists enjoyed a moment of political triumph,gained largely through the influence of a G.O.P. controlledCongress and a Republican president.

However, in certain circumstances, the ban is not a triumph forwomen. The vague language of the new legislation failed to includean exception for protecting a woman’s health.

In other words, if your wife, mother or sister’s lifefaces danger beyond the first trimester of pregnancy (when mostserious, life-threatening complications occur) an emergency partialbirth procedure done in an effort to save the woman’s lifecannot be performed.

In response to the absence of any stipulation for protecting awoman’s health, Nebraska issued a temporary restraining orderblocking the ban’s enforcement on a select group ofdoctors.

Nebraska’s lead was followed by a plethora of legalchallenges around the country.

The act’s disregard for women’s health opens thepossibility that the Supreme Court will rule that the Partial BirthAbortion Ban Act is unconstitutional.

Hopefully the Supreme Court will rule against the act, andlegislatures in this country will be forced to recognize thatwomen’s personal health should not be sacrificed in the nameof advancing a political agenda that does not agree withabortion.

As the Supreme Court has held in the past, any ban shouldinclude a provision that privileges a women’s health incircumstances where the pregnancy has become a mortal threat to herlife.

Presently, less than 10 percent of abortions are classified as”partial birth.” The procedure does not (as the namegiven to it seems to suggest) designate an abortion performedpartway through the birthing of a child. It simply designates achange in procedure due to the advanced stages of pregnancy. Fewabortions in this country — just less than 10 percent, infact — are “partial birth” abortions, as mostwomen have exercised the right to choose well within the firsttrimester.

Many disagree morally, ethically or for religious reasons withabortion performed in the later stages of pregnancy. If themajority of us do disagree, then serious consideration should bepaid to eliminating the majority of abortions performed in thesecond and third trimester.

However, it is essential that such a ban not advance theanti-abortion cause at the expense of individual women’shealth. There must be consideration for the life of mothers, or theidea of “pro-life” will forever be plagued withirrevocable contradiction and hypocrisy.

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