Activists on both sides of the gay marriage debate "have begun to speak of the issue as 'the new abortion'," The Washington Post reports. But what ever happened to the old abortion? As it turns out, the past few months have seen extraordinary progress for the unborn, with abortion supporters looking more desperate than ever.
The international front is full of good news. China is outlawing sex determination and sex-selective abortion, aiming to fix its gender imbalance by 2010. On the other side of the international political spectrum, the Netherlands has tethered its infamous abortion ship.
Meanwhile, Britain is engaged in a soul-searching moment. First came the release of images from the new 3D/4D ultrasound scans—one shows a 12-week-old child "walking" in its mother's womb. Then came the shocking news of the abortion rate (up 3.2 percent from 2002), "cosmetic" abortions (at least a dozen babies have been aborted for cleft lips and palates, in probable violation of British law), and medical advances. The author of Britain's 1967 Abortion Act, David Steel, said the law wrongly assumes fetuses can't survive outside the womb before 28 weeks. "Since then," he wrote in The Guardian newspaper, "medical science has continued to advance, recording survivals at 22 weeks of pregnancy." In 1990, British pro-life groups pushed to move the law back to 22 weeks, but got 24. Now Steel wants it halved, to 12.
Viability supposedly matters here as well. World magazine recently reported, "Forty states and the District of Columbia have post-viability abortion bans that are currently enforceable." Many of these state laws define viability too late: between 24 and 26 weeks. But in December, when Sen. Joseph Lieberman noted that the laws no longer ...