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Defensive Medicine At Its Most Offensive

I don't like to write about abortion. The legendary talk show host Jerry Williams summed it up best with his 3 observations: 1) Everyone already has an opinion on the matter; 2) Nobody's likely to change their mind on it; and 3) There really hasn't been much new to say in over 30 years on the topic.

Personally, I describe myself as "squishily pro-choice." I disagree with it and think it's wrong, but I'm nowhere near secure enough in my beliefs to impose them on others.

That being said, I have to say that this story seriously disturbed me.

In response to the Supreme Court decision upholding the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, many abortion providers in Boston and around the country have adopted a defensive tactic. To avoid any chance of partially delivering a live fetus, they are injecting fetuses with lethal drugs before procedures.

I can't truly say I blame the doctors. They're trying desperately to comply with a new law that is vague about what it prohibits, but very clear about the penalty. Advocates of the Partial Birth Abortion law said specifically that it was not intended to be a broad measure to reduce abortions across the board, but merely target one specific procedure -- but the wording is loose enough to cause concern. And where "concern" can be translated to "two years in prison," a little paranoia could be a very healthy thing.

I don't have a ready answer to the questions it poses, but a part of me insists that this is precisely the sort of thing that happens when issues like abortion are resolved at the federal level, and not the state. In state politics, the lawmakers are (theoretically) closer to the people and more responsive to their will. Also, the big players in national politics have somewhat less influence, as they find they have to sway 50 different, independent legislatures.

I think that this is, ultimately, the result of the push during the 60's and 70's to try to fix everything from the federal level. It was that mentality that demanded that abortion be declared a national issue and settled not by the several states, but by the United States Supreme Court. The federal system is a blunt instrument, not adept for fine work, and such things as abortion and medical ethics and other similarly knotty issues need precision and nuance that Washington is just not known for.


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Comments (13)

"They're trying desperately... (Below threshold)

"They're trying desperately to comply with a new law that is vague about what it prohibits, but very clear about the penalty."

They're not trying to comply with a law ... they're trying to evade a law so as to continue doing what is now illegal by murdering the child in utero before delivering it.

It's murder pure and simple.

Good morning JT. Two things... (Below threshold)

Good morning JT. Two things: 1- The discussion should continue because of the teenagers that will have to confront this issue in the future. It is in no means settled. 2- Follow the money. There is a lot of money in abortions and doctors like money. They of course for the most part be for this procedure.

They passed a law in Illinois that stated that if a baby survived an abortion attempt by a medical professional, they cannot kill it. That is the sorry state of our affairs in this country where we actually have to pass a law to not kill babies that survived. Also, Obama voted against that law. I personally think as a society we have a lot to answer for with our cavelier approach to issues of life. Abortion for the most part is used as a birth control method for irresponsible men and women. So, we make the baby suffer. I actually laugh when I hear democrats and other pro abortion people talk about taking care of our children. It is bizarre. ww

People can change. I'm one ... (Below threshold)

People can change. I'm one of those. When I was younger I was one of those smug pro-choicers, "Yeah, it's bad and I wouldn't do it, but the choice should be out there." Then I listen to Rush and G. Gordon Liddy a lot and they, along with research on my own, changed my mind. The choice is whether or not to take a human live. That gets lost in the euphemisms.

I agree this is another case of where the tenth amendment should be used. That is where abortion is mentioned in the Constitution, not some fuzzy penumbra of an emanation.

A lot of people think they are brave and will tell you I would've help the slaves in the 1850s or the Jews in 1930 Germany. However, we are facing a similar choice now and too few people stand up for those who can't speak.

I have quite serious convic... (Below threshold)

I have quite serious convictions on the abortion issue, but must completely agree with you.

The 60's and 70's were a time like you said, and abortion was taken to a level that it should not have been taken.

Since we have been learning how much the MSM seems to enjoy padding or even making a story up, I would like to revisit the statistics and the reasoning that took abortion to the level that led to Roe V. Wade.

I am certain like all else the MSM had their hand in making abortion the only option for poor uneducated folk that wanted to control their bodies, from the evil middle class white European man who is the blame of everything.

OK, I was on the soapbox for a moment, but seriously, I would like to re-investigate the pre-abortion ferver, without MSM goggles on...

It's all about the arrest o... (Below threshold)

It's all about the arrest of the becoming.

The first "federal fix" for... (Below threshold)

The first "federal fix" for abortion was the Roe v. Wade decision which most agree was a poorly reasoned decision, even if your politics favor it.

Pre-Roe, many states allowed abortion. Some did not, obviously. The same would probably be the case today.

The radicals and feminists couldn't amend the Constitution, so they got the Supremes to do it for them. Shows you have far astray "intellectuals," including Supreme Court Justices, can go.

WWYour right docto... (Below threshold)


Your right doctors love money, probably Joos too?

Stupid comment.

re ww2; greed motivates onl... (Below threshold)

re ww2; greed motivates only a small minority of abortionists.

Otherwise, your comment is right on.

"There really hasn't bee... (Below threshold)

"There really hasn't been much new to say in over 30 years on the topic."

What ? Have you not heard about all of the "unviable tissue masses" that have survived eralier and earlier outside the womb ? Haven't you seen the picture of the baby reaching out of the womb to grab the finger of the Dr. operating on him or her, weeks before birth ? I'm sorry JT, your position is totally gutless and unprincipled. I should know, I was gutless and unprincipled enough to kill two babies in my life, God help me, and it's time that people, who should know better, look straight into their hearts and find the courage to condemn this atrocity above all others in American history. Most of the slaves were valued enough to be kept alive at least. We can't say that about the unborn. For them, life is a roll of the dice, and just like the slaves, they suffer "legally" at the hands of the greediest kind of depraved individuals our nation produces, the kind that can dismember a whole human being, suck him or her into a sink, wash there hands, and take money for it.

I know that was disgusting, that is precisely why you must stand against this daily attrocity and stop all of the "squeamish pro-choice" horse crap. Look in your heart man, babies are murdered every day. At least admit that to yourself, for the sake of your soul, because there will be a rekoning and we are headed straight for it. The people who looked the other way in nazi Germany, those who didn't condemn the slave trade and the ones who later stood by and watched as blacks were subjected to 3rd class citizenship, those people have a heavy burden to bare when the heavy lifting is finally done, and they're forced to look into the mirror and know they did nothing. Not even a statement of fact as to the evil they were watching. Don't wait until it's popular to defend the defenseless. Do it now. For the sake of our nations' soul.

Thank you, Pudge, for reaff... (Below threshold)

Thank you, Pudge, for reaffirming WHY I don't bring up the subject of abortion.

Appeal to emotion: Check.

Comparison to Nazism and the Holocaust: Check.

Comparison to slavery: Check.

Appeal to religious sensibilities: Check.

Threat of "fear of day of reckoning:" Check.

Think you hit all the same major points that have been batted around for about 40 years, Pudge. The details have been refined and updated, but it's still the same ol' same ol'.

Hope you feel better for getting it out of your system, though.


Great answer J. A su... (Below threshold)

Great answer J.
A subject as uncomfortable as this should never be confronted head-on, apply directly to the waste can. Head-on ? No, apply directly to the waste can.

If anyone wants me, I'll be washing my wishy. (Damn conscience, this is gonna be a hard one to scrub out.)

Pudge, I never said "don't ... (Below threshold)

Pudge, I never said "don't talk about it." I said "this is why I don't talk about it."

I've taken personal steps to be certain that I will never be involved in any abortion. Therefore, as someone who has no and never will have any personal stake in the matter, I choose to sit out this fight. Call me "conscientious objector" or "conscienceless objector" or "cowardly onlooker," it's much the same to me.

I only brought up this story as an example of the laws of unintended consequences, of the problems of trying to solve certain problems at a national or a federal level. I never intended it to become an argument about abortion itself, and if it does, it will do so without me.

If you want to keep preaching to me, be my guest. It won't change a damned thing -- I probably won't even read it -- and you'll achieve as much as you would discussing Picasso with Stevie Wonder. But if it makes you feel better to yell and rant at someone who has, consciously and deliberately and willfully decided to sit out this particular fight, go ahead.

Hey, who knows? You might actually achieve something. You might piss me off enough to take the opposite side purely for spite. Not likely, but odder things have happened.


I am going to jump back in ... (Below threshold)

I am going to jump back in the conversation just for a moment.

Animal Planet has a series of shows that show animals in the womb. I have seen the elephant one and the dolphin one. Both pretty impressive, and speak volumes.

When one debates viability and whether it is life, we must always reflect that we are speaking of humans, as the animal kingdom has much more protecting it, and going up to bat for it. Funny how this debate has run the gamete and it really isn't a debate at all.

This has always been an agenda with many facets, one of which is to level or place humans on an evolutionary scale, not on anything else.

I still stand by my original comment that the MSM has skewed numbers and supported the likes of Kinsey and Sanger, which both show where they stood in their beliefs.

Thanks for this post, I really appreciate with the fact that it should no longer be discussed in the fashion that has been replayed for decades, but in a new forum.






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