Abortion Ban 2013: Republicans Just Don't Know When to Quit, Do They?

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice approved the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans all abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy. Ladies, we live in a country where a group of middle-aged politicians can put a ticking clock next to your womb and call you a killer for making a decision pertaining to your well-being. The decision has yet to be scheduled for a House hearing, but it is of little surprise that the vote in the Republican-leaning subcommittee was 6-4, and that radicals like Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) enlightened all with his statement that "delivered or not, babies are babies." One need not go on a feminist rant in order to explain that the subcomittee's decision is wrong from a political, legal, and medical standpoint.

The abortion ban is evidently a hot topic of debate between the Republican and the Democratic parties, with both sides attempting to inflate their position with the requisite dose of lachrymose arguments. On one hand, the Democratic position is firmly opposed to the ban, citing that pregnancies that are toxic for the mother, that are caused by rape, and that produce severely anomalous children are far too prevalent to be ignored by the legislation. Mothers who are put in these difficult situations should not be forced to carry the pregnancy to completion, and especially not by people who will never endure the same physical, emotional, and even financial toll of an ectopic pregnancy or a suffering infant. 

On the other hand, Republicans are attempting to paint abortion doctors as murderers. Subcommittee Chairman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) states that "those who incomprehensibly call trying to change this a 'war on women' overlook the fact that roughly half of these babies that are so tortuously killed each day are just little tiny women." Clearly, Franks is using clumsy, and frankly, creepy, imagery in order to distract from the obvious consequences of the ban — millions of women putting their lives at risk every day, millions of children with special needs who are not receiving the treatment they require, and families with too many mouths to feed and not enough money to do so.

Arizona had a similar 20-week ban from April 2012 until it was struck down by courts in May 2013, but it seems like Republicans are relentless in exploiting the legal system to their advantage. Most poignantly, they are pointing to the conviction of Kermit Gosnell as a an example of the horrors of abortion. In that case, one wonders whether the Democrats should point to the Columbine killings to draw support for gun-control legislation. 

While Republicans believe that all abortions involve needless and horrific imposition of pain, medical evidence shows that the fetus can experience pain from 18 to 29 weeks into gestation. Thus, it seems like the ban proponents are picking and choosing statistics with little conclusive evidence, and denigrating abortion facilities instead of providing safer equipment and physicians.

As a society, we should pride ourselves on the 1973 decision from Roe v. Waderather than attempt to model El Salvador's definitive ban on abortions