Partial-Birth Abortions

Partial-Birth Abortions

Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them.
—Mark 10:14

In 1973 the Supreme Court, in “Roe v. Wade,” allowed women to have abortions. A companion case that same year, “Doe v. Bolton,” expanded the right to abortion by mandating that any law restricting abortion had to have a health exception—meaning that a woman could have an abortion for any health reason that included her physical, psychological, and emotional well-being. In other words, if a doctor determined that having the child was physically or emotionally or psychologically harmful, then the woman had to be allowed to have an abortion.

In 2003 a US district court ruled that a New Hampshire law requiring parental notification for a minor having an abortion was unconstitutional because there was no health exception to that state law. According to the district judge, there had to be an exception whereby an abortionist could perform an abortion on a 14-year-old girl without telling her parents if the abortion practitioner thought the abortion was necessary for the girl’s emotional and psychological well-being. When you say there has to be a health exception to an abortion-restricting law, that means abortion for any reason.

That health-exception clause was also used to open the door to partial-birth abortion. In the 2000 case of “Stenberg v. Carhart,” the Supreme Court struck down a Nebraska law banning partial-birth abortions because it did not contain the health-exception clause. In 2000 then President George W. Bush signed a law banning partial-birth abortions. But that partial-birth abortion ban was challenged by every liberal group under the sun. So the government had to defend the ban. In one of those lawsuits, Dr. Stephen Chasen, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Cornell University, argued for partial-birth abortion.

Dr. Chasen described the process of partial-birth abortion in graphic detail. Then the judge asked him, “Does this process hurt the baby?” Dr. Chasen said, “I do not know.” “But you go ahead and do it anyway. Is that right?” “I’m taking care of my patients, and in that process yes, I go ahead and do it.” “Does that mean,” the judge said, “that you take care of your patient and the baby be damned? Is that your approach?” “These women who are having abortions, they’re legally entitled to it,” Dr. Chasen railed. “I didn’t ask you that, Doctor. I asked you if you had any care or concern for the fetus whose head you were crushing.” Dr. Chasen answered, “No.”

Fortunately, in April 2007 the United States Supreme Court, in a narrow 5-4 decision, upheld the constitutionality of the partial-birth abortion ban without requiring a health exception. If we are to delay the decay in our nation, we must stand up for the rights of these unborn children.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “When a Nation Implodes – Part 1” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.