Letters to the Pilot
Abortion as a crime
In response to the guest opinion, "If abortion is illegal, what is the penalty?"
Dear Mr. Burns,
Your article was very sarcastic. You made us pro-life people seem like dummies who haven't thought through the implications of our beliefs. Be patient with us, Mr. Burns. We are not prosecutors. We don't write criminal law. We just feel the need to defend the rights of healthy little babies as they grow in their mothers' womb. (We are also concerned about the damage done to the mother's body and emotions.)
But now that you've raised the question, Mr. Burns, if abortion is a crime which needs to be punished, let's just give it some thought. Here are some of the most common methods of aborting unwanted babies, along with some details about the baby's development in the womb. Please read carefully, Mr. Burns.
* Suction Abortion. The majority of all surgical abortions use this method. It is used during the first three months of pregnancy. A tube is inserted into the uterus. The tube is connected to a suction device 27 times more powerful than your home vacuum cleaner. The child and his or her placenta are sucked through this tube into a collection bottle. The remains are examined to insure all the parts are there.
(Note: By the fifth week from conception, the baby's cranium and spinal chord are complete. The baby's eyes have a retina and vision. The ears are formed. The arms and legs and fingers and toes are complete.
By the eighth week, the baby's head is completely formed, along with its face, mouth and tongue. His/her brain is formed. The baby can now respond to being tickled. The baby could now be finger-printed. The baby's brain waves can now be measured. The baby can grab things with his or her hands.
Dilation and Curettage (D&C). This method is used between 10 and 12 weeks into the pregnancy when the child is getting too big to be suctioned through the tube. The cervix is dilated so that a long handled instrument called a curette can be inserted. The curette with its looped cutting edge scrapes the placenta from the uterine wall and cuts the child into smaller pieces that can then be suctioned. (No anesthesia is used as the baby is cut into little pieces.)
Note: By the twelfth week, all of the baby's systems are functioning normally. His/her nerves are synchronized with his/her muscles. The baby has finger and toe nails.
* Dilation and Evacuation (D&E). As the pregnancy continues, the child becomes too big for suction and for cutting into pieces. In the D&E method, the cervix is dilated over a period of two or three days. A forceps is inserted and used to dismember the child one limb at a time and to extract each part. (No anesthesia is used.) Finally, the head is crushed and removed. All parts are "reassembled" on a metal tray following the procedure to make sure the abortion is complete.
* Dilation and Extraction (D&X). Referred to as "Partial-Birth Abortion," this method also requires up to three days for dilating the cervix. The abortionist guides the child feet first through the birth canal and allows all but the head to be delivered. Holding the head in place with one hand, the abortionist uses his other hand to puncture the base of the skull with a scissors-like instrument. A tube is inserted into this hole and the brains are suctioned out. (No anesthesia is used.) The skull collapses, and the delivery of the child is completed. The baby is declared "dead."
Note: These partial-birth abortion babies are now 7, 8, or even 9 months old from conception. If born prematurely, most would survive easily. Have you ever held a "preemie" in your hands? These beautiful little Americans are the targets of the barbarism called partial-birth abortion.
* So Mr. Burns, here's the issue. You and Sen. Kerry and Sen. Edwards and the pro-choice people apparently see nothing wrong with these procedures. You see no criminal activity here. At the end of the day at an abortion clinic you could look at that pile of little arms, legs, torsos, crushed heads, etc., and say, "How nice. We've defended the right of the mother to choose to terminate her pregnancy." And since 1973, the law of the land has defended your position.
Others of us, Mr. Burns, don't see it that way. We see beautiful, healthy little pre-natal babies whose lives are being torturously destroyed. They can't defend themselves from the decision of their mother. They can't defend themselves from the tools of the abortionist. Their cries of pain aren't heard. They can't get a lawyer. We believe that to try to defend them is a noble cause.
Mr. Burns, I don't understand why you think it would be so dramatic for abortion to be considered a crime. From the 1820's until the 1960's this was the case. For 140 years our legal system saw the criminality of abortion, calling it a misdemeanor, a felony, or a homicide, depending on the situation. Only for the last 31 years has this changed.
If the only way to stop this needless destruction of innocent lives is to ban abortion as a criminal activity, then I believe we should do so...
By the way, Mr. Burns, you mocked and belittled President Bush for his strong position in defense of these little Americans. I hope that now you better understand why so many of us agree with him.