Murder In The First Degree...

life Since the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, the Alan Guttmacher Institute reports that America has witnessed 35,273,792 abortions performed within these 23 years. That's one abortion every 23 seconds.

Due to the realization of this hideous statistic and other striking facets regarding the terror of partial-birth abortion, the House of Representatives has set up a showdown with pro-choice extremist, Bill Clinton. By nearly a seven to ten margin, the House approved the late-term abortion ban in a moral victory respecting the sanctity of human life in its later stages.

Representative Charles Canady, R-Florida, the prime sponsor of this law, said the late-term abortion procedure "bears a clear resemblance to infanticide...[yet] the president is supporting an indefensible procedure that should not be allowed in a civilized society." With respect to the latter, this is certainly undeniable and, unfortunately, a sure warning flag for an eventual veto.

President Clinton continues to maintain that this procedure is the result of a medical emergency from the mother's standpoint. However, there is little truth or proof to support his belief as to the rationale for a partial-birth abortion.

The Physicians' Ad Hoc Coalition for Truth (PHACT)--a group of over 300 physician-specialists has spoken out to dispute President Clinton's assertions that certain women had required partial-birth abortions to escape serious physical injury from labor. Recently, PHACT said in a letter to Congress, "We, and many other doctors dispute the claim that partial-birth abortion exists to eradicate a medical emergency from the mother's standpoint. The great majority of partial-birth abortions--quite likely over 90%--are performed in the fifth and sixth months of pregnancy. The overwhelming majority of these are performed for purely non-medical, 'personal' reasons."

Yet, in another light, some prominent defenders of partial-birth abortion, such as National Abortion Rights Action League's Kate Michelman, have tried to convince America that anesthesia kills the babies before they are removed from the womb. This is entirely untrue. These babies are alive and experience great pain when they are subjected to a partial-birth abortion. Last year, in congressional testimony, the head of the American Society of Anesthesiologists testified that anesthesia given to the mother has little or no effect on the baby.

True, too, is the fact that a high percentage of babies who are killed by partial-birth abortion are old enough to survive independently of the mother. A survey of neonatal units in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, conducted by Dr. Maureen Heck and others, found babies born at 23 weeks had a 23% chance of long-term survival, rising to 34% at 24 weeks, and to 54% at 25 weeks.

So, what more will it take for President Clinton and others to realize the truth behind this gruesome procedure? And what will it take for half of the body politic to realize that unborn humans at all stages of development have the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as 250 million Americans enjoy?

In his bid for the presidency in 1992, President Clinton frequently roared to the masses, "I, as a New Democrat...am for the little guy to make it through the adversity that society places." But is he really for the most precious of little guys?

Eric Seymour

Robert Schiener