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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The agenda behind partial birth ban

Presently, there is much evidence to suggest that President Bushand the Republican-controlled Congress have mounted a serious andeffective attack on abortion rights in this country, albeit a quietone.

As Ed Board pointed out on Wednesday, the Partial Birth AbortionBan Act had no exceptions for the health of the mother. We foundthe omission of such exceptions extremely troubling, and feel thata woman’s health cannot be ignored when passing laws onabortion.

However, Congress did vote on an alternative proposal that didinclude an exception for a woman’s health. In the Senate, thebill was voted down 60-38. The bill without an exception forwomen’s health passed 64-33.

Why on earth would the legislators be against a stipulation thatwould allow for emergency partial-birth abortions to be performedwhen the mother’s life was at stake?

The answer: With the mother’s health stipulation, her lifewould be placed above an unborn child, and right now the ultimategoal of anti-abortionist is to have the fetus gain as many rightsas possible. Granting mothers a health stipulation would becounter-productive to gaining rights for the fetus.

In short, a woman’s health (and her body) is at the mercyof a political agenda.

What many people don’t know is that recently, many smallinitiatives are being pushed that would — in very smallincrements — slowly remove aspects of women’s rights interms of abortion.

But many efforts are being made on the part of anti-abortionadvocates within Congress and the executive branch to make legalchanges within the law that would elevate the status of the fetusto include personhood.

For example, under the Unborn Victims of Violence Act that iscurrently being pushed, an assaulter would be charged twice: oncefor the mother and once for her unborn child.

The idea that an attack on a pregnant woman could be punishedtwice probably pleases many of us, but the Unborn Victims Act has adual purpose. Yes, it will punish the assaulter, but it will alsogive the unborn fetus new rights. With those rights in place,abortion can be argued against on the legal grounds that if achild’s life is recognized in the event of an attack on themother, why not in regards to abortion?

The anti-abortion offensive conceals many of the far-reachingimplications of new laws. Furthermore, recent changes that limitaccess to abortion, and cut funding from clinics that mention it asan alternative, have gone unnoticed by pro-choice advocates whoconstitute a majority in America.

A direct attack on Roe, i.e. an overturning of the monumentalcourt decision that came at the height of the women’s rightsmovement, has not been made. But real attention fails to be paid tohow effectively the anti-abortion movement has worked within themargins to trim away the edges of a right that an entire generationof women have taken for granted.

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