Redefining the Abortion Debate
Fr. Frank applauds bill to protect pain-capable children (5/20/2013)
Quotes from abortionists and Court cases
about the "D and E" procedure (PDF)
Professional medical diagram of the
"D and E" procedure
medical doctor describes the "D and E" procedure
explanation of the "D and E" procedure
Public opinion about abortion in America can best be described as
ambivalent: uncomfortable with unrestricted abortion, yet unwilling to ban
Another word for public opinion on abortion is “stalemate.” It has
not moved much over the years since Roe vs. Wade. One time it did move was
when partial-birth abortion was being debated publicly in the late 90’s.
People were more willing to identify with the pro-life position during and
after that debate, because the debate focused on abortion itself, rather
than on abstract issues of freedom and choice.
And it is only in the specific arena of partial-birth abortion that our
nation has succeeded, at any time since Roe vs. Wade, in actually
prohibiting an abortion procedure in many states and on a federal level, and
have that prohibition upheld by the highest court in the land.
When the question is, “Should we allow abortion?”, the debate is unwieldy
and ambiguous, catching people in a seemingly endless and wearisome maze of
arguments and counterarguments. But when the question is, “Should we allow a
child to be pierced in the skull with scissors while still alive and
partially delivered?”, the public comes much more quickly to a consensus.
And that consensus in turn affects their view of the overall abortion
Now it’s time for Act 2.
The most common abortion procedure performed after the first trimester of
pregnancy is the “D and E” (Dilation and Evacuation), a procedure which is
legal throughout the nation, and which the Supreme Court itself described in
“The doctor grips a fetal part with the forceps and pulls it
back through the cervix …, continuing to pull even after meeting
resistance from the cervix. The friction causes the fetus to tear apart.
For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through
the cervix and out of the woman. The process of evacuating the fetus
piece by piece continues until it has been completely removed.”
(Gonzales vs. Carhart, April 18, 2007)
Now is the time to ask the American public, whether pro-life or
pro-choice, a simple question: Should dismemberment of a living child in the
womb be permitted? Let’s go beyond the all-encompassing question of “Should
abortion be allowed?” and ask, “Should this specific procedure, in which a
child’s arms and legs are ripped off, and head crushed, be allowed?”
As we saw in the partial-birth abortion debate, we will see again that
many people who consider themselves “pro-choice” and who would want abortion
to be generally available will nevertheless oppose this specific procedure
and even work with us to prohibit it by law. It is time to mobilize that
segment of the public.
Every abortion is wrong, no matter what method is used; every child must
be protected. We do not in any way retreat from that principle and goal. But
helping people focus on one procedure at a time is a quicker way to get
there. See StopDandE.com for more info.