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Late-Term Abortions: What Readers Say
Here's a sample of some of the e-mail we've gotten in the past few days on the Senate late-term abortion debate. If you'd like to comment on the day's news, send us e-mail at editor@AllPolitics com Be sure to include your name and home town.
'A Very Private Thing'
I am a conservative, who never wanted to voice a strong opinion about abortion. I always believed it was a very private thing. In my younger years I gave birth to six children, all boys. There were times when I was devastated to find myself pregnant again, but abortion was not available in the 50s. Thank heaven!!
I am so happy now that they are all alive and well.
-- Marianne Tavelli, Fort Bragg, Calif., May 15
'Abortion Is Murder'
I am writing to take part in your opinion poll on the partial birth abortion ban. I am in favor of the ban as presented by Sen. Santorum. I believe that abortion is murder. I believe the so-called fetus is a baby -- a human life -- and that it should not be killed. Pro-choice people say a woman should have the right to choose what she does with her body, but the unborn baby is a separate body, not her body.
-- Mrs. Neoma Counts, Farmington, Mo., May 15
'What Does The 'So-Called' Part Mean'
When you say so-called "partial-birth" abortions, what does the "so-called" part mean? Is there a reason for this addition on your reports? Do you mean some people call it that? I have heard and read this a lot of times. Do you not have a better name for it? "So-called" sounds as if some people believe the baby is halfway born and others do not believe it is halfway born? Where is the fetus when this procedure takes place? Or is it the word birth that troubles us so. Usually when someone is born there is life. Maybe you should call it the so-called "halfway out of the birth canal, then suck out the baby's brains procedure." But you wouldn't want to offend any of your readers, would you? News is reporting the truth. Sometimes it has to be sugar coated.
-- Patricia Weaver, Manteca, Calif., May 15
'A Gruesome Procedure'
Partial birth abortion is a gruesome procedure that violently and painfully kills a viable fetus. This procedure is nothing short of infanticide. To top it all off, the procedure is completely unnecessary. If a vaginal delivery would threaten the life of the mother, a surgical delivery should be performed. The Senate should pass Sen. Santorum's act which would ban this heinous procedure. Sen. Daschle's amendment is a farce that would do nothing to limit these abortions, as evidenced by the fact that President Clinton has agreed to sign the amended legislation. Finally, the vast majority of Americans, whose views legislators were elected to represent, are vehemently opposed to this procedure. These abortions are not rare. They are performed largely for purely elective reasons. The House has already passed this legislation with a veto-proof majority. The Senate should do likewise.
-- Michael Reiley, Ann Arbor, Mich., May 15
'Toothless And Not Enforceable'
Senator Daschle's alternative to the GOP ban is toothless and not enforceable. The American Medical Association just approved a report which referred to partial birth abortion as medically unnecessary. This entire debate is ridiculous. Ban the procedure.
-- Michael Der Manouel, May 14
'Zealots And Rational Thinkers'
After watching this heinous war between religious zealots and rational thinkers for a decade, I am beginning to wish my parents had had access to contraception 34 years ago.
Get the poor president out of this ridiculously religious and non-majority issue. He has better things to do than take a political (forced or self-induced) stand on this issue.
Then, get senators like Santorum a job where the religious right activists pay their salaries, not the taxpayers.
Single mothers with children who have a hard time getting child support do not want another MAN with a mission taking away our hard earned freedom and right to determine.
Child-bearing and child-rearing are a tough decision for any educated working woman today. We seem to have no shortage of people. When I read this kind of nonsense I do believe we might have a shortage of the kind of people that most of us want to represent us in government.
The major point here is again, late-term abortions are quite rare statistically, quite undesirable to most women, and hence have no bearing on typical American life. The threat that Sen. Santorum poses to abortion in general does threaten all working women, and all women in a free and democratic society.
Where do these anti-abortion MEN get off? Telling women what to do with their bodies while expecting women to go to any rotten job everyday to support their children that some other right-wing, anti-abortion man abandoned? These same men expect women to be proper mothers, superb workers, self-educators, and harlots when they meet women in clubs while the men are cheating on their wives, their children, their churches and their country.
I would like to know how senators that vote for banning abortion voted on the welfare reform issues. I would like to see a roll call.
Most mothers don't have time or money or club membership to play golf with these biggies, but they do have power in the way they educate their DNA to handle the future ...
-- T. Thompson, May 14
'A Calculated Attempt'
The Daschle amendment is a calculated attempt to render the ban of partial birth abortions meaningless; it should be defeated. The ban as proposed before amendment should be passed by the Senate as it was in the House, regardless of what the president threatens.
If the president vetoes the measure, it should be overridden by Congress.
-- John M. Feero, Midwest City, Okla., May 14
'Expendable On Demand'
If human life is considered to be expendable on demand - as it is in abortion -- our society has placed itself on the same level as animals.
The next logical conclusion -- which was predicted soon after the Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade in 1973 -- is to make it expendable in other situations: suicide and euthanasia are already practiced in this country as well as in foreign countries, the "leader" being Holland.
There are always excuses to justify breaking principles that have been working for thousands of years; President Clinton's attitude about the most disgusting form of human killing -- the involvement of viable human beings in "partial birth abortion" -- is in no way different in principle of the attitudes of Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler about "human life."
-- K. Jorg Falkenberg, M.D., May 14
'A Woman, Her Doctor and Her God'
It is apparent that the Republican congressmen, who have let the religious right gain control of their party, to once again whip the passions of their constituents to an all-time high on an issue that should belong to a woman, her doctor and her God. This is a subject that does not belong to partisan politicians.
The Congress has enacted, as part of the Contract with America, a law that would make all representatives live under the same laws as average citizens. It is time for them to either 'put up or shut up.'
If doctors will be liable with prosecution, fines, prison, and loss of license for protecting the life and good health of the woman he had sworn to protect, then the congressmen who backs and votes to pass this heinous bill should each be just as liable to the same penalties they want to inflict on those doctors they are trying to intimidate.
I think that depriving a woman of her constitutional rights by our lawmakers, should be viewed as a form of premeditated murder of a helpless woman. They could and should be made responsible for their actions.
There is no law in the United States that says a woman must have an abortion. No one would support such a law. Why should there be a law that makes a woman a slave to a child that cannot survive too long, or is unable to enjoy a normal life and may destroy the chances for happy, normal children in the future.
-- Sydelle Zabow, Elizabeth, N.J., May 14
'Infanticide Pure And Simple'
This procedure is no more than infanticide pure and simple. It should have been signed last year. It is now known that the Democrat liberal feminists lied to the American public about its use in both the reason for its use and the number of procedures performed each year.
I am tired of the liberal socialists and you in the media outright lying to the public in an effort to advance your extreme left wing agenda.
-- Daryl B. Bonar, May 14
'Bowed My Head In Thanks'
When I saw the headline that Clinton would not veto the new late-term abortion bill, I bowed my head in thanks to God for stirring the heart of our president on this issue. Am I premature? I will continue to pray for the senators as they vote on the life or death issue before them. May they (and our country) come to their senses and come back to the ideals that made this country strong in the beginning. So many of our core beliefs are gone or in jeopardy, but surely we can return to a conviction that human life is precious, children are our future and the unborn babies are just that -- unborn babies.
-- Kit Weiss, May 14
'Implausible And Yet Encouraging'
How implausible and yet encouraging that liberal Democrat Daschle would propose ANY bill limiting any abortion procedure. That fact alone is a good indicator that the pro-life will of the majority of the American public is slowly yet inexorably manifesting itself in the House and Senate.
The Daschle bill is an obvious attempt to steal the issue from the Republican majority.
And yet I think that the majority should resist the temptation to support this watered-down ban on some late term abortions, riddled as it is with loopholes, and so loosely worded that over three quarters of all states already have laws at least as restrictive on the books.
It only takes one election -- a presidential election -- to settle this issue in the favor of life. The days of legal infanticide in America are running out.
-- Ray Truelove, Winchester, Va., May 14
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