Partial birth abortions rare and medically necessary or elective and not uncommon?

I’m not saying that it never happens. However, the mere possibility is insufficient reason to dismiss their claims.

Moreover, don’t forget that pro-choicers and defenders of partial-birth abortion have their own agenda as well. If you dismiss abortion critics on the grounds that they “have an agenda,” then you must dismiss pro-choice claims as well – ESPECIALLY when the pro-choicers in question benefit financially from abortion.

Since I have made no claims regarding informed consent, your question is irrelevant. It could very well be that the pregnant women are being informed that the fetus may be used for medical research. It could also be that this fact is conveniently ignored. That point is simply irrelevant to the topic at hand, which is why I made no claims either way.

Now, what about your claim that there are simpler (and presumably, equally effective) ways to obtain fetal organs? How do you propose harvesting the organs while simultaneously maintaining blood flow through the fetus? Is the medical community aware of this technique that you have in mind?

Oh, you mean the pregnant women are as likely as not consenting to the more expensive, dangerous, and invasive form of abortion in order to donate fetal organs for research (and/or alligator bait or whatever it is you think they want them for)?

OK. So, in that case, where’s the problem?

I said that?

::reads upstream::

I did not say that. I did not say anything that any rational speaker of English as a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd language would construe as having that meaning. I said there were simpler, less expensive, safer ways of obtaining an abortion.

I’m starting to think I need a Babelfish for this thread.

Oops. Yes I did.

:o How’d that get in there??

Sorry about that. My apologies.

That should’ve read: So…umm…you’re arguing that D&E’s are being done under circumstances where simpler procedures would suffice for purposes of performing an abortion?

::rereads his own post again and again::

OK, that most really should’ve read: So…umm…you’re arguing that D&E’s are being done under circumstances where simpler abortion procecures would suffice, and that this is being done for purposes of acquiring fetal organs?

Seeing as this has essentially hijacked this thread, I have created a new thread here specifically for this topic. Hopefully we can get a little more input.

First of all, I clearly made no judgment as to whether they were knowledgably consenting or not. I did not bring up the issue of consent, as I emphatically pointed out earlier.

Second, they may not be fully aware that it is more dangerous, or the degree to which this danger is increased. Third, D&X is specifically mandated for extremely late-term abortions, and so is not comparable to other abortions. Fourth, other late-term abortion techniques, such as hysterotomies, have their own complications (e.g. fetal survival). And fifth, they may not be fully aware of the options available, especially if their abortionist specializes in D&X. In other words, there could be any number of reasons why they would opt for a partial-birth abortion.

Look, you’re the one who asked why a physician would opt to perform a partial-birth abortion. I’m simply answering your question.

There are other reasons, to be sure. For one thing, vacuum aspiration is typically done on early-term fetuses, when their tissues are still soft enough to be torn apart via vacuum. Similarly, curettage is most easily performed when the fetus is still young and pliable. Once the tissues have hardened, the abortionist must resort to more drastic means, such as hysterotomies (which have become very unpopular) or partial-birth abortions.

Y’know, this would have been a perfect time for me to utter a bitingly snarky remark… but I think I’ll pass.

I think the side that needs to be carefully watched for the truth or otherwise of its statements is the pro-partial birth abortion side, as well as the other.

Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, admitted in the New York Times, Feb.26, 1997, that he lied when describing PBA as being performed rarely and usually out of medical necessity. He now estimates the procedure as being performed about 5,000 times per year, and usually “on a healthy mother with a healthy fetus.”

“…in most cases where the procedure is used, the physical health of the woman whose pregnancy is being terminated is not in jeopardy. Instead, the “typical” patients tend to be young, low-income women, often poorly educated or naive, whose reasons for waiting so long to end their pregnancies is rarely medical.” - Washington Times, September 17, 1996.

There were five women present when former President Clinton vetoed the ban on this procedure. One of them (Claudia Crowne Ades) stated in an interview on MNTM (Mobile, Alabama) on April 12, 1996:

I am not aware of any credible evidence that PBA is done deliberately to harvest organs for transplant. I am also not aware of any credible evidence that PBA is done to save the life of the mother as a general rule.

The “health” of the mother in PBA is often defined as it is for abortion earlier in pregnancy - unwanted pregnancy = stress, stress = unhealthy, ergo any pregnancy can be terminated to save the “health” of the mother.



Is a D&X referred to as an ‘elective procedure’ in the case of an anencephalic or hydrocephalic fetus, or in cases wher e through some other medical test (ultrasound) it is known that the fetus would be stillborn but the woman could deliver under normal labor a full term but dead or brain dead fetus?

Just asking because everyone continues to talk about cases in which the health of the pregnant woman is not at stake, but no one has mentioned cases in which there is no possible way for a live baby to result from the pregnancy due to defect in the fetus.

I’m sure many D&E’s are elective. I meant to be saying that generally they aren’t performed unless the pregnancy is too far advanced to do a vacuum or D&C, and I was expressing significant doubts about the likelihood that they were being done anyway for the purpose of organ harvesting. But once the pregnancy is pretty far advanced, D&E is the way to go.

So in that sense they are medically necessary. If you made them illegal, doctors performing abortions would have to resort to even more invasive procedures that they would utilize solely because they are not banned.

Or, if you banned them all, women seeking abortions would make use of illegal abortions performed by not-necessarily-licensed personnel without proper oversight, and that would be more dangerous and invasive still.

Once again though, that’s not what the AMA is saying. In fact, they have been quite stringent in stating otherwise. Late term abortions were being performed long before the partial birth technique was ever developed, and the AMA attests that it’s simply not necessary.

Ok I wanna make something very clear here…

Attacking the source of information is perfectly valid and a crucial part of critical thinking. I do the same thing when NOW spins out studies. Every side has an agenda which must be weighed against what they say. It is the duty of every thinking person to track down that agenda.

Is it a wrong agenda? No. I actually don’t think so. Whether or not PBAs are being done to harvest fetal tissue (which I doubt), I think them as elective surgery to be ridiculous. If you’re waiting until the end of the second, or the beginning of the third trimester to decide on aborting the fetus, you’re over halfway to popping the kid out anyway. I would say at that point adoption is a very viable means of dropping a baby you don’t want.

That all depends on HOW you attack the source of information. For example, it is reasonable to dismiss someone’s medical diagnosis if it can be shown that this person lacks the necessary medical credentials.

It is NOT reasonable to dismiss pro-life arguments on the grounds that they come from a pro-life source. Such reasoning is the intellectual equivalent of sticking one’s fingers in one’s ears and chanting “La, la, la! Can’t hear you!”

Where have I said I dismiss them? I attack them, yes, but that doesn’t mean I dismiss them. If the only people speaking these arguments in any seriousness are pro-life sources, I’m going to doubt them just as seriously. If you post a link from less obviously biased sources (does not mean liberal, but rather ones with less of a stake in the issue) which at least partially confirms either story, I’d be happy to accept them as relevant and persuasive cites.

It would be like someone posting an exclusive study they found on a radically pro-choice site which shows that multiple abortions procedures can clear up acne and lead to a longer, healthier life. While I’m not going to discount them out of hand, it would take more than that one link to persuade me its not fabricated, or at least heavily distorted.

For many women, getting to a clinic that provides even early-term abortions is somewhat difficult. Where I live, the nearest aborition clinic is about 65 miles away. One quarter of all women wishing to abort must travel 50 miles or more.

To find a clinic willing to do a late-term abortion is even more difficult. A lot of doctors either are not trained, or refuse to do it. It would be especially difficult, I imagine, for a woman who is getting the abortion for non-medical reasons.

No, what has to be dismissed is all UNCORROBORATED statements by one side or the other. And it is quite silly to assume someone is defending partial birth abortions simply because he doesn’t believe in material distributed by opponents of all abortion whatsoever without any corroborating evidence.

Yes, they are. Because both are unfounded by any evidence, and both have serious arguments against them. And no, a claim of organ harvesting is in no way consistent with a claim that partial birth abortion is not medically necessary. It is, in fact, entirely unrelated.

It IS reasonable to dismiss pro-life arguments from a pro-life source when they are made without any supporting data. Because someone who has a vested interest in finding a specific outcome is likely to misinterpret data. As such, it is imperative that one sees the data to make an independent conclusion.

And to dismiss pro-choice arguments from a pro-choice source, because at least in reference to partial birth abortion, they have been known to be liars.

What can be corroborated is:
[li]partial birth abortion is performed thousands of times per year in the US[/li][li]partial birth abortion is usually performed later in pregnancy[/li][li]partial birth abortion is usually not performed for reasons having to do with the life or physical health of the mother[/li][li]partial birth abortion is often performed because the pregnant woman did not seek abortion earlier in her pregnancy[/li][li]partial birth abortion is often performed on a healthy fetus[/li][li]partial birth abortion is generally more risky for the woman than an abortion performed earlier in pregnancy[/li][li]partial birth abortion providers have been known to lie about the frequency and circumstances under which partial birth abortion is performed[/li][li]partial birth abortion is often considered an elective procedure, in the sense that not performing the procedure does not pose a significant risk to the life or physical health of the pregnant woman[/li][/ul]

Lissa writes:

I am not sure, but it sounds like you are implying that PBA is performed later in pregnancy because pregnant women find it difficult to travel 50 miles.

If this is so, I will ask for cites (and OliverH will ask for them to be corroborated by some pro-life group, since groups with an agenda are unreliable) that shows a correlation between tendency to obtain a partial birth abortion and distance from an abortion clinic.

My round trip to and from work is over 50 miles. But it takes me an hour or less to travel that distance - not seven months.

Most abortions in the US are obtained for non-medical reasons.

But if your point is that when it comes to abortion, the earlier the better, then you are correct. Early abortions are both easier to come by and medically less risky (to the mother).

The idea that pregnant women delay until late in their pregnancy because they need a PBA and have difficulty obtaining one is false. The American Medical Association’s board of trustees released a report in May 1997 stating that there are no situations in which “partial birth abortion is the only appropriate procedure to induce abortion”. Which is why the American Medical Association supported the ban on PBA (HR 1122) in May 1997, which then-President Clinton vetoed.


No, no, I didn’t mean to imply that at all. I was just noting that getting a *regular, * early-term abortion is difficult enough for some women, let alone trying to find a doctor and clinic willing to do a late-term abortion.

I remember reading something in a magazine about late abortions [the sort where the foetus is killed by saline injection then labour is induced] a woman working in a hospital went into a [?] room for something and heard a sqeaking noise, fearing mice or some other vermin she looked around and found an aborted foetus which had been dumped in a bucket and was clearly still alive. Aparently this sort of thing was quite a common occurance in hospitals where late abortions were available. I’ve never been all that keen on the idea of abortions since …

and while we’re on the subject what constitutes a reason for having an abortion? Some of the “reasons” I’ve heard/heard of …

“I didn’t want to embarass my Gran” - a 20something single woman.

“All my pals have had one, I didn’t want to be the only one with a baby” - another 20something single

“I didn’t want to be fat for 9 months” - a 20 something married woman

“It was a boy and I wanted a girl” [or vice versa]

“I couldn’t be bothered going on the pill”

I [personally] don’t consider any of those to be reasonable grounds for an abortion …