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This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In The News: Partial Birth Abortion Banned!

inthenewsSteve Chabot, a republican congressman from Ohio, drafted a federal law banning partial birth abortions. The measure was passed by congress, and was signed into law by President Bush in 2003. The law was immediately challenged as unconstitutional and was defeated in six lower courts before the Supreme Court reversed those decisions, upholding the constitutionality of the law in a 5-4 vote on April 18th.

Moderate Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in the ruling. He wrote that even more common abortion techniques have the unfortunate power to “devalue human life”, and indicated that partial birth abortion, (a procedure where the fetus is almost fully removed from the birth canal before scissors are used to pierce the skull and a vacuum is used to destroy the fetus’ brain), “implicates additional ethical and moral concerns that justify a special prohibition.”

The decision of the conservative leaning court is significant for two reasons. First, it is the first time since Roe V Wade in 1973, when abortion was legalized, that any specific abortion procedure has been successfully banned. Second, the arguments made by the majority opinion acknowledge a moral responsibility on the part of the State.

For example, Kennedy noted that Doctors understand the emotional consequence of describing the partial birth procedure, and often refrain from doing so, giving the woman considering the abortion only a required statement of the risks the procedure entails. Kennedy stated:

“It is, however, precisely this lack of information concerning the way in which the fetus will be killed that is of legitimate concern to the State … The State has an interest in ensuring so grave a choice is well informed. It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns, only after the event, what she once did not know: that she allowed a doctor to pierce the skull and vacuum the fast-developing brain of her unborn child, a child assuming the human form.”

You will notice in the above quote references to the “killing” of the fetus; grief anguish and sorrow; and an “unborn child.”

Judges Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas joined in the decision, and added a separate concurring opinion that included the statement, “The court’s abortion jurisprudence, including Casey and Roe V Wade … has no basis in the Constitution.” In effect, contending that the courts have no business striking down laws banning abortion.

It is to our national shame that those who realize abortion is the killing of an unborn child, an act that terminates human life, nevertheless are willing to uphold as a constitutional right a woman’s decision to take that child’s life while in the womb. This ban on partial birth abortions is a good first step, but until the United States of America begins to protect the lives of her most vulnerable citizens rather than support the genocide of the unborn, God will refrain from blessing her. It is time for our leaders to repent, and do the right thing.