Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sadly, a symbolic victory

So today the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ban on partial birth abortion. With mixed feelings I reflect on it, for though a victory for pro-life forces, its passage immediately becomes a symbolic victory.

I say this because the decision today upholds the ban on the method only, but not the practice in concept. The ban, if enforced, will not directly reduce the number of abortions in the United States. As a dammed river will overflow or change course to find its way to the ocean, the forces of abortion have already circumvented the obstacle and moved on to other "safer" methods. Live birth abortion is an alternative to partial-birth abortion in late-term pregnancies. The baby is delivered and placed in another room and denied nourishment or medical care until it dies. Other methods include injecting the fetus with chemicals which will seize its heart; the dead baby is then extracted via cesarian section. (This method in particular plays right into the argument against partial-birth abortion: why is it necessary for the health of the mother that the baby be aborted rather than delivered cesarian section?)

This seeming futility, however, does not negate the urgency in supporting the partial-birth abortion ban and other such legal measures. A symbolic victory in this uphill battle is a victory nonetheless. It sheds light on the brutality of the procedure and opens discussion on why abortion is morally wrong in all cases.

No comments: