Banning abortion is a myth, says USA Today
"Suddenly, the national debate over abortion is heating up again," reports USA Today's Joan Biskupic. Or at least it's seeming to. But though debates over "Choose Life" license plates, unborn victims laws, partial-birth abortion, and parental consent continue, the chances of actually overturning Roe v. Wade are more unlikely than ever, Biskupic says. "Banning abortion from coast to coast—or greatly limiting most women's access to it—would require a complex and unlikely series of changes."

"Both sides (in the abortion debate) are engaged in a phony war," says prolifer Marshall Wittman, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. Prolife and prochoice advocates both know a comprehensive ban on abortion is nearly impossible in the current climate, but they pretend it's imminent because it rallies the troops.

Ken Connor, president of Family Research Council, says the article "stirred up folks in the prolife camp." But, he says, it's bunk. "The abortion war is anything but 'phony.' The body count since 1972 is 42 million and counting. … If the White House takes its prolife stance seriously, as I believe it does, then the president should be publicly repudiating Wittman's statement and the position of the members of his party who work diligently to protect a woman's 'right to choose' to kill her innocent child."

At National Review Online, Elizabeth A. Fitton writes that the prolife movement is still just getting started. The war isn't phony—its battlefield is expanding:

The newest generation of prolifers have an arduous task ahead of them. But respect for all life—now and to come—is at stake. … Abortions have decreased; and most Americans, on both sides of the issue, agree that abortion is something to avoid. Yet states are still flirting with legalizing assisted suicide, and even people who consider themselves anti-abortion are trying to emphasize the "greater good" of embryonic research. Today's pro-lifers need to educate themselves. … In the mid-20th century, many citizens were ignorant of what was really happening in those Nazi clinics; but we are certainly not.

This week, one of the main abortion battlegrounds is prisoners' abortion rights. In Cleveland, a convicted forger who argued she was jailed not for forgery but for wanting an abortion, settled her case with Cuyahoga County. In 1998 Judge Patricia Cleary sentenced Yuriko Kawaguchi to six months in prison. When Kawaguchi got out, doctors told her it was too late to abort her daughter. "I'm really hoping that nobody else has to go through what I've gone through," Kawaguchi told reporters Tuesday. She got $1,000 from the country; Cleary got suspended from practicing law for six months, then was defeated for reelection.

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In the Houston area, meanwhile, a 17-year-old serving 60 days at a boot camp (she received a year's probation for an assault charge) is suing the facility because it reportedly wouldn't dismiss her for an abortion. State District Judge Ken Anderson also denied her release, reportedly saying it was not in her best interest. A federal judge ruled on the case yesterday, but the decision was sealed.

In abortion-related news, James Kopp pleaded not guilty yesterday to shooting abortionist Barnett Slepian in 1998.

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