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Partial-Birth Abortion: Right Or Wrong?

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Whether or not abortion should be legal inevitably raises the question of whether and at what point a fetus is a person. This is a question that cannot be answered logically. The concept of personhood is not logical: it is essentially religiously based on one's fundamental assumptions about the nature of the world. The issue of abortions has been a hot debate since the 1973 Supreme Court Case of Roe v. Wade which legalized abortions. Recently, a major issue came about among all the debates dealing with partial- birth abortions. It is a controversial method of abortion late in a woman's pregnancy in which the baby is aborted by a craniotomy. Over the last decade, many bans have been placed on this procedure. The bans are not placed on all abortions because many people believe that abortions should remain legal. However, the procedure of partial birth abortions should be banned because having an abortion after twenty weeks of pregnancy is violently taking the life of an innocent child, and government regulation must be placed to prevent this.

Partial-birth abortion is used after twenty weeks of pregnancy. A doctor pulls the baby out of the mother with forceps, feet first, and stops when the only thing remaining inside the mother is the baby's head. The doctor then takes a pair of scissors and inserts them into the back of the neck of the child, spreads them apart and then proceeds to suction the brain of the child out of its head. The child is now no longer living and can be disposed of. It must be a terrible procedure to witness. In 1993, Brenda Pratt

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Shafer, a registered nurse who has 13 years of experience, was assigned to an abortion clinic. She considered herself very pro-choice and didn't think that this would be difficult. However, after she witnessed a procedure of a partial-birth abortion she never returned to the clinic. If this has been a terrifying experience for a nurse, one can only imagine what this would be like for any other person. In the situation of a partial-birth abortion, the only factor that separates it from homicide is the fact that the child's head remains inside the mother while the procedure is performed. The method of this abortion is horrific. It kills a baby that is half born.

Many steps have been taken in the last few decades to ban partial-birth abortions. During the Clinton administration, the Congress of the United States enacted a bill banning the practice of partial birth abortions. However, President Clinton vetoed the bill in November of 2003; President Bush signed the ban on partial-birth abortions. He called the procedure cruel because it punctured the skull of a fetus. This has caused a major debate between two groups: Pro-Choice and Pro-Life. The Pro-Choice Activists feel that abortion is a woman's choice. A woman's body and her decisions involving it are up to her. Women's clinics, similar to and including Planned Parenthood, feel that women need the option of partial-birth abortions. Abortion, as defined by pro-choice activists, is the disposing of a fetus, not the killing of a baby. On the other side of the spectrum are Pro-Life Activists who feel differently about abortions. These people believe it is not right for any type of abortion to take place Even though the baby is inside the mother; it is still a baby, a



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