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.
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.
More life ethics news:
- Law to hurt IVF study, say experts | Doctors and consumer advocates complain new limits on cloning research also limit infertility studies (The Sydney Morning Herald)
- Some anti-abortion Web sites getting bolder in calling for action | "Apathetic" churches targeted (Waco [Texas] Tribune-Herald)
- The play's the thing, even on the abortion stage | Prolife group tries sting operation to show clinics are violating rape disclosure laws (Dennis Roddy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Reprieve for Nigerian adultery convict | Amina Lawal will be free to look after her child until January 2004, whatever the outcome of her appeal. (BBC)
- Redeeming values | Media says slave redemption is fiction. (Charles Jacobs, National Review Online)
- U.S. House members slam Bush's Sudan oil policy | Administration is blocking legislation aimed at cutting off oil revenues that Sudan is using to finance its war against rebels in the south (Reuters)
- Panel: U.S. should watch Kabul freedoms | U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom says U.S. should assign an official in its embassy in Kabul to subject (Associated Press)
Freeing the Burnahams:
- Rumsfeld hesitant about Philippines | "You can improve the situation in one place by your presence, but unless you get the terrorists you have not improved the situation," says Defense Secretary (Associated Press)
- Rumsfeld needs information before Philippine campaign | Current and just-retired Pacific commanders have urged Mr. Rumsfeld to permit deeper involvement (The Washington Times)
- U.S. special forces moving closer to Sayyaf lairs | The Filipino soldiers stationed in Basilan said they are ready to go, hand in hand with their Green Beret advisers. (The Philippine Star)
- Philippine soldiers learning the ropes | In heart of rebel territory, U.S. forces train Philippine troops (The Dallas Morning News)
- Andersen pays off Baptist Foundation | The foundation's 1999 bankruptcy is the largest by a nonprofit agency in U.S. history. (Associated Press)
- Penn. pastor sentenced to prison | W. Michael Altman bilked congregants out of hundreds of thousands of dollars through an investment scheme he masterminded at the church (Associated Press)
Missions & ministry:
- Crusade to test festival seating | Festival seating was all but banned in Cincinnati after the Who concert tragedy 23 years ago, but it has been used in recent years at religious events and high-school sporting events (The Cincinnati Post)
- Also: Choir members tune up for Billy Graham | Evangelist scheduled to hold mission June 27-30 (The Cincinnati Post)
- Promises to keep | Promise Keepers continues with conference in Tampa (The Tampa Tribune)
- Ministers of finance | More churches are teaching money management. But is the Rev. Jesse Jackson the right pitchman? (Time)
- Headteacher defends evangelist speech | Says traditional Christian values are being eroded by political correctness. (BBC)
- Man with a mission | Chaplain coordinating ministry at county jail (The Indiana [Penn.] Gazette)
- Graham's movies with Christian view | While the success of a show like Touched by an Angel has proven that TV audiences will respond to spiritual themes, that's not the style of a typical Graham film. (The Hartford [Conn.] Courant)
- The two sides of John Woo | He makes violent action films. He's spiritual and a jazz lover. Contradictory, yes, but that's what makes the filmmaker thrive. (Chicago Tribune)
- Narnia's nymphs come out of the closet | Yesterday's classic is today's Satanic verse. (The Daily Telegraph, Surry Hills, NSW, Australia)
- Catholic guilt | CBS passes on Sly Stallone's priest drama. The Eye was looking for edgier fare, not trying to elude scandal. (Entertainment Weekly)
- Cash comes around this fall | Fourth recording with Rick Rubin due in September. (RollingStone.com)
- Stephen Carter's first novel looks like this summer's breakout book | But he isn't giving up his day job as a law professor at Yale (Newsday)
- God leaves church's prayers unanswered | Minutes after raising their hands to praise God during worship hymns, the congregation of St Andrew's raised their hands in praise when it seemed that Michael Owen had scored. (The Times, London)
- Christians choose World Cup over Sunday service | Attendance down by more than a third, say clerics. (The Nation, Nairobi)
- A pint and a prayer book for England faithful | Pubs and churches welcome World Cup fans with Sunday morning service. (The Guardian, London)
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