NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Richard Land is fervently praying the third time will be the charm in putting an end to the gruesome medical act most accurately known as partial-birth abortion.
Buoyed at the news the House of Representatives’ Constitution Subcommittee sent the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2002 out of committee on a bipartisan vote July 11, the host of “Richard Land Live!” recalled that two similar bills had fallen prey to former President Bill Clinton’s veto pen.
“As a direct result of Bill Clinton’s veto of the two partial-birth abortion ban bills, somewhere between 15,000 and 25,000 babies that were partially born were killed by having their brain destroyed while the rest of their body was already delivered,” said Land, president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Congress passed bills banning the procedure in 1996 and 1997, but by less than veto-proof majorities in the Senate.
“This is perhaps the most heinous and most grotesque part of the slaughter of the unborn,” Land continued. “This is called partial-birth abortion as opposed to homicide, which is what it would be if the baby were several inches further along and actually outside the mother’s body.” A diagram of the partial birth abortion procedure is available online at www.prolifeinfo.org/pba1.html.
Partial-birth abortion is literally an “act of child sacrifice to the pagan gods of convenience, social convention and career well-being,” Land said July 13 on Richard Land Live!, a caller-driven, midday talk show he hosts. The program airs each Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. (ET) over the Salem Radio Network.
Land encouraged listeners to contact their congressmen to urge support for the bill, HR 4965, by calling their offices or sending them an e-mail via www.erlc.com/capitolhill. Land said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, expects the House Judiciary Committee to take quick action on the legislation. And while Chabot expects House approval of the bill, he is not as optimistic about its future in the Senate, Land said.
The bill banning partial-birth abortion is built on the accurate thesis that the procedure, called by the more clinical but less descriptive name, “dilation and extraction,” by its proponents, is never necessary to save the health of a woman; it poses significant health risks to a woman; and it is outside the standard of medical practice, Land explained.
The bill’s sponsor believes the bill overcomes the objections voiced by the U.S. Supreme Court in Stenberg vs. Carhart, a 2000 decision that found a Nebraska law banning such abortions unconstitutional.
“The congressional subcommittee is saying the Supreme Court got it wrong and I agree,” Land said. “The court decided the case based upon wrong evidence and wrong medical understandings.”
He explained the procedure takes the lives of babies who are in almost every case able to survive and develop into a healthy human being.
A moral, medical and ethical consensus recognizes the practice of performing a partial-birth abortion is a “gruesome and inhumane procedure that is never medically necessary and should be prohibited,” Land said. Between 5,000 to 6,000 America children are killed this way each year, he added.
“We call this partial-birth abortion because of a fictitious premise some have instilled in our legal system that says if a baby is not fully delivered from its mother’s body, the baby is still part of the mother’s body, and therefore a mother has a right to kill, or allow to be killed, her child because he is part of her body,” Land said. “This ignores the fact that in 54 percent of pregnancies the baby is a boy which means he cannot be part of his mother’s body.
“Furthermore, the baby always has a different genetic structure and often has a different blood type from his mother,” Land continued, noting that the procedure, typically done beginning at the 20th week of pregnancy, is often used as late as the ninth month of pregnancy.
By 22 weeks, a baby weighs nearly one pound, and with modern medical advancements, can usually survive outside his mother at this age, Land explained.
“It is an abomination and a denial of everything we stand for as a nation when we say we believe that all men are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” said Land, quoting from the Declaration of Independence.
“If we believe that all men are created equal and that they should have this right of life, then what are we doing killing unborn babies?” Land asked. “What are we doing killing partially born babies?
“This is a gruesome procedure, one I can’t imagine anyone defending,” Land concluded, while admitting it has its proponents — “those who are fixated on giving women and their physicians the right to kill innocent, unborn babies and those who reflect the abject selfishness of adults who have tumbled into the same moral abyss in which the Supreme Court found itself in ruling the state of Nebraska could not outlaw such abortions.”