The Partial-Birth Abortion Loophole

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Four months ago the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. As I said at the time, banning this unspeakably barbaric form of abortion was a victory—albeit a small one—for the pro-life cause. It represented another step toward the end of abortion-on-demand in this country.

Certainly the nation's pro-abortion forces saw it that way as well. The near-hysterical reaction of the Center for Reproductive Rights was typical: "The U.S. Supreme Court," it said, "effectively overturned 30 years of precedent and announced that women's health is no longer a paramount concern . . . the Court's decision paves the way for state and federal legislatures to enact additional bans on abortions, including those that doctors say are safe and medically necessary."

So, while pro-lifers celebrated a small victory, pro-abortion forces signaled that they were not going to stand idly by while the forces for life steadily chip away at abortion-on-demand.

That's why a recent story in the Boston Globe should not surprise us, I suppose. It turns out that some abortionists are doing an end run around the partial-birth abortion ban by injecting lethal drugs to kill the fetus before doing the late-term abortion. This despite the fact that, as some doctors told the Globe, "it poses a slight risk to the woman and offers her no medical benefit."

So who benefits from the procedure? "The only clear benefit is a legal one to the physician," one California doctor told Fox News religion reporter Lauren Green. That same doctor, by the way, considers the injection procedure "too risky" to the expectant mother.

The loophole just means, sadly, that there are those who will do anything, even risk the life of the mother, to snuff out the life of an unborn child—while pro-lifers are the ones accused of not caring about women! It is just one more proof of the inherent evil and destructiveness of abortion.

But it's also one more proof that pro-lifers can never let our guard down and that the struggle to end abortion-on-demand will take years, and we've got to keep fighting.

As I have said before on "BreakPoint," that lesson was taught to us more than 200 years ago by the British Parliamentarian William Wilberforce, who brought an end to the slave trade in Britain.

For nearly 20 years, Wilberforce introduced bills banning the slave trade. Year after year, his opponents found ways to defeat them, often playing dirty. But Wilberforce and his allies never gave up, and in 1807, the House of Commons voted to abolish the slave trade. It took another quarter century to abolish slavery outright.

Despite repeated losses, Wilberforce kept working. By God's grace, he made incremental gains and eventually carried the day.

I believe that the pro-life cause will carry the day as well. After all, as was the case with Wilberforce, justice is on our side. And, just as the British public was awakened to the evils of the slave trade, so too the American public is learning more and more about the miracle of life in the womb—and the horrors inflicted on that life by abortion.

So, what's next for pro-lifers? We endure the setbacks, we close the legal loopholes, and we keep fighting. Like Wilberforce, we never lose sight of the final goal.


From BreakPoint®, September 14, 2007, Copyright 2007, Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with the permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or distributed without the express written permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. "BreakPoint®" and "Prison Fellowship Ministries®" are registered trademarks of Prison Fellowship