Thursday, March 14, 2002
Idiot of the Day Award: Goes to Jesse Johnson and the Associated Press. Now, the AP isn't usually considered a liberal bastion like the New York Times or the Washington Post. Generally, the AP is a good, unbiased source of news.
But when it comes to the issue of abortion, however peripherally, it seems that the AP is subject to the same mental contortionist act that Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Action League.
In reporting on the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, the AP characterizes the law as having to do with abortion. Which, in a way it can -- botched abortions.
WASHINGTON - A fetus outside a woman's body that has a heartbeat or is breathing on its own would be considered "born alive" and given legal protection under a bill approved by the House.
The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, approved by voice vote Tuesday night, would amend the legal definition of "person," "human being," "child" and "individual" to include a fetus that is either breathing or has a heartbeat once out of the womb as part of an abortion procedure.
What do normal people people call a fetus outside of the womb? Why -- a baby! How old do you have to be to no longer be called a fetus by the AP? Five minutes? Five hours? Five years?
It's really a sad comment on our society that this bill was even necessary. Several years ago, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) got on the Senate floor and went so far as to suggest that infanticide was OK, as long as the parents hadn't taken the baby home from the hospital yet. Boxer was addressing the possibility that prenatal testing had missed a birth defect like Down syndrome, something that might cause the parent(s) to consider abortion. Because of faulty testing, it was too late for the abortion, so infanticide was OK. You won't find that in the Congressional Record, Boxer had it striken after she realized what she'd said, but you can get a videotape of it from C-SPAN.
Kathryn Jean Lopez of the National Review has been following the abortion issue for years. She recounted why this bill was necessary in an article earlier this week.
Nurse Jill Stanek has testified extensively to what has become known as "live-birth abortion." It isn't really abortion at all, however. She witnessed the brutal practice at Christ Hospital and Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois, where she was employed: Children are delivered and simply purposely left unattended, to die. These are cases where it is clear that the baby is a baby and he is very much alive.
In congressional testimony last year, Stanek said:
One night, a nursing co-worker was taking an aborted Down syndrome baby who was born alive to our soiled utility room because his parents did not want to hold him, and she did not have time to hold him. I could not bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone in a soiled utility room, so I cradled and rocked him for the 45 minutes that he lived. He was 21 to 22 weeks old, weighed about half a pound, and was about 10 inches long. He was too weak to move very much, expending any energy he had trying to breathe. Toward the end he was so quiet that I couldn't tell if he was still alive unless I held him up to the light to see if his heart was still beating through his chest wall.
The bill is what its father, NRO contributor Hadley Arkes, calls the "most modest first step imaginable on the issue of abortion." To oppose the bill is to affirm that the right to choose includes the right to have a dead baby-even if that means having it killed. Of course, in the age of "wrongful birth" suits this isn't foreign. In fact, it's almost a surprise that there is still some sense of shock or general disapproval at what Stanek testifies to.
Unfortunately, infanticide like that described by Stanek at the inappropriately named Christ Hospital, appears to be a relatively recent development. Twenty years ago, a baby born alive in a botched abortion was rushed to the hospital. In today's climate, nothing is worse than the bad press a botched abortion would generate. To avoid that bad press abortionists become murderers, according to the legal definition of the word, by disposing of their mistakes.
An abortion survivor testified on Capitol Hill in support of the bill:
My name is Gianna Jessen. I would like to say thank you for the opportunity to speak today. I count it no small thing to speak the truth. I depend solely on the grace of God to do this. I am 23 years old. I was aborted and I did not die. My biological mother was 7 months pregnant when she went to Planned Parenthood in southern California and they advised her to have a late-term saline abortion.
A saline abortion is a solution of salt saline that is injected into the mothers womb. The baby then gulps the solution, it burns the baby inside and out and then the mother is to deliver a dead baby within 24 hours.
This happened to me! I remained in the solution for approximately 18 hours and was delivered ALIVE on April 6, 1977 at 6:00 am in a California abortion clinic. There were young women in the room who had already been given their injections and were waiting to deliver dead babies. When they saw me they experienced the horror of murder. A nurse called an ambulance, while the abortionist was not yet on duty, and had me transferred to the hospital. I weighed a mere two pounds. I was saved by the sheer power of Jesus Christ.
Ladies and gentleman I should be blind, burned.....I should be dead! And yet, I live! Due to a lack of oxygen supply during the abortion I live with cerebral palsy.
When I was diagnosed with this, all I could do was lie there. "They" said that was all I would ever do! Through prayer and hard work by my foster mother, I was walking at age 3 1/2 with the help of a walker and leg braces. At that time I was also adopted into my wonderful family. Today I am left only with a slight limp. I no longer have need of a walker or leg braces.
Gianna Jessen is alive today because 20 years ago, even abortionists knew where the line between abortion and infanticide is. By the late '90s it was becoming apparent that that line had been blurred, and possibly erased. This bill was necessary as a reminder, nothing more.