A U.S. federal statute defines “partial-birth abortion” as any abortion in which the fetus is extracted “past the navel [of the fetus]… outside the body of the mother.”
Instead of other abortion methods such as suction (“vacuum expiration“) and dilation-curettage, in a partial-birth abortion, the fetus must be “extracted” for a simple reason: The fetus is already so developed that those other methods can no longer be used. Instead, removal of the baby now requires dilating the mother’s cervix in a procedure called “Intact D&X” (Intact Dilation and Extraction).
Under the Intact D&X method, the largest part of the baby’s head is “reduced in diameter” to allow vaginal passage. According to the American Medical Association, this procedure has four main steps:
- Usually, preliminary procedures are performed over a period of two to three days, to gradually dilate the cervix using laminaria tents (sticks of seaweed which absorb fluid and swell). Sometimes drugs such as pitocin, a synthetic form of oxytocin, are used to induce labor.
- Once the cervix is sufficiently dilated, the doctor uses an ultrasound and forceps to grasp the baby’s leg. The fetus is turned to a breech position, if necessary, and the doctor pulls one or both legs out of the cervix, which some refer to as ‘partial birth’ of the fetus.
- The doctor subsequently extracts the rest of the fetus, leaving only the head still inside the uterus. An incision is made at the base of the skull, a blunt dissector (such as a Kelly clamp) is inserted into the incision and opened to widen the opening, and then a suction catheter is inserted into the opening. The brain is suctioned out, which causes the skull to collapse and allows the fetus to pass more easily through the cervix.
- The placenta is removed and the uterine wall is vacuum aspirated using a cannula.
That is why partial-birth abortion is also called late-term abortion. A late-term abortion refers to an induced abortion procedure that occurs typically after the 20th week of gestation, although the exact point when a pregnancy becomes late-term is not clearly defined. The procedure is usually used in the second trimester, from 15 to 26 weeks, some of which occur before and some of which occur after viability.
Here are pictures of what a human person looks like in the 20th week of gestation:
Here’s a description of the 20-week-old human person:
The baby weighs about 9 ounces and is about six inches long. The uterus should be at the level of the belly button. The baby can suck a thumb, yawn, stretch, and make faces. Soon — if you haven’t already — you’ll feel your baby move, which is called “quickening.” (WebMD) By week 20, your baby [… is] filling out. His organs are getting into their proper places. His kidneys are now in position with their familiar bean shape. His testes (or ovaries for girls) have reached their position. His brain continues to form and grow. His teeth are beginning to appear, and he can swallow. (BabyZone)
Since 1995, led by Republicans, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate tried again and again to ban partial-birth abortions. During the Clinton administration, Congress passed two such measures by wide margins, but Bill Clinton vetoed those bills.
In 2003, late-term abortions finally became unlawful in the United States when the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (PBABA) was signed into law. The House passed it on October 2 with a vote of 281-142, the Senate passed it on October 21 with a vote of 64-34, and on November 5, 2003, President George W. Bush signed it into law.
PBABA includes two findings of Congress:
(1) A moral, medical, and ethical consensus exists that the practice of performing a partial-birth abortion… is a gruesome and inhumane procedure that is never medically necessary and should be prohibited.
(2) Rather than being an abortion procedure that is embraced by the medical community, particularly among physicians who routinely perform other abortion procedures, partial-birth abortion remains a disfavored procedure that is not only unnecessary to preserve the health of the mother, but in fact poses serious risks to the long-term health of women and in some circumstances, their lives. As a result, at least 27 States banned the procedure as did the United States Congress which voted to ban the procedure during the 104th, 105th, and 106th Congresses.
Immediately after the passage of PBABA, America’s death cultists began their tireless efforts to overturn the federal law. Beginning in early 2004, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the National Abortion Federation, and abortion doctors in Nebraska challenged the ban in federal district courts in California, New York, and Nebraska. All three district courts ruled the ban unconstitutional and their respective federal courts of appeals—the 9th, 2nd and 8th Circuits—affirmed these rulings on appeal.
The three cases were all appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and were consolidated into the case Gonzales v. Carhart. On April 18, 2007, the Supreme Court voted to uphold the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act by a narrow decision of 5 (Alito, Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia, Thomas) vs. 4 (Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter, Stevens). [Source: Wikipedia]
Despite partial-birth abortions being “a gruesome and inhumane procedure that is never medically necessary,” that is EXACTLY what Michelle Obama — the First Lady of the United States of America, who is the mother of two young daughters — is determined to restore.
Here’s the proof.
Recently, a 2004 campaign letter signed by Michelle Obama, urging Illinois voters to elect her husband to the U.S. Senate, surfaced. In her letter, Michelle specifically mentioned the repeal of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act as a desirable objective and as a cause to which a Senator Barack Obama will be devoted:
Not only does Barack Obama share Michelle’s determination to overturn the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, Obama does her one “better” — he doesn’t even want babies who survive a “botched” partial-birth abortion to live.
When he was a senator in the Illinois State Senate, he voted three times against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 — a federal law, signed by President George W. Bush, which extends legal protection to an infant born alive after a failed attempt at induced abortion.
What happened to ADOPTION as an alternative?
The plain truth is THERE IS NO REASON to kill “born alive” babies who survive a partial-birth abortion. Most Americans favor adoption. U.S. federal government statistics show that as many as 30% of Americans have considered adopting, 60% of whom considered adopting an infant (as opposed to older children from foster care) in the United States (vs. from other countries).
Alas, voluntary placement of children for adoption is relatively rare in the United States. About 1.4 million children were born to unmarried women in 2003, comprising 34.6% of total births. Less than 1% of children born to never-married women were placed for adoption from 1989 to 1995; fewer than 14,000 children were voluntarily relinquished in 2003.
In other words, there is a great demand in the U.S. to adopt infants but an inadequate supply. Late-term or partial-birth abortions are cruel, gruesome, inhumane, and also risky to the health of the mother. Killing babies who survive a late-term abortion is infanticide. Adoption is the humane and safe alternative.
So why are Barack and Michelle Obama, the President and First Lady of the United States of America, so bent on killing instead of adoption?
Think about it.