Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Two Thoughts on Abortion

First, screaming headlines today blared that the "newly reconstituted Supreme Court" is going to hear a case on the federal law banning partial birth abortions.

Actually, the story I linked runs the headline: "Justices tackle late-term abortion issue." Which is a little disingenuous, because the issue isn't about how late in the term the abortion is performed (and note that Harry Blackmun, in Roe v. Wade said straight out that a state could ban third trimester abortions); rather, it's about a specific method of performing abortions. And that method involves inducing labor, pulling the baby out of the womb until only the head remains in the woman's body, stabbing scissors into the baby's skull, and using a vaccuum to remove the brain and collapse the skull.

Somehow, Congress got the idea that the procedure is ethically problematic.

Well what's the harm, you might ask. After all, if the kid is going to die, what difference if he or she dies in a really, really horrible way? Congress was concerned about the danger of devaluing human life, and blurring the line between abortion and infanticide.

Well, is that really a realistic danger?

I don't know. Maybe we should ask the Dutch.