Saturday, November 11, 2006

Partial-birth deceit

The Washington Times
November 11, 2006

Amid the election reaction on Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard two cases concerning a federal ban on partial-birth abortion. It is encouraging at the least that the court even agreed to hear the cases, considering that in 2000 a 5-4 court struck down a Nebraska ban on this gruesome procedure. As was her habit, former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor cast the deciding vote. Could the court be in the process of reversing itself? Let's hope so.

But first we should remind readers just what happens during a partial-birth abortion, since so many news outlets tend to use as technical language as possible. For instance, while you won't find any description of the procedure in the New York Times story on the hearing, here's how The Washington Post put it: "It generally involves the breech delivery of a fetus, followed by the collapsing of its skull to permit removal." Contrast that with how the conservative National Review described it in a recent editorial: "Partial-birth abortion involves the partial delivery of a child, the puncturing of its skull, the removal of its 'intracranial contents,' and then the delivery of a dead baby or extraction of its parts." Both are technically accurate, but you decide who's trying to fool whom.
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