Thursday, August 05, 2010

Barbara Boxer on partial-birth abortion

George Will recalls this classic expression of how far Barbara Boxer is willing to take her support for a mother's right to kill her baby.
In a letter in last week’s NEWSWEEK, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said that, in the previous issue, this columnist got her position on late-term abortion “wrong” by “taking my words out of context.” Well.

C-Span recorded her words in the Oct. 20, 1999, Senate colloquy that can be seen today on YouTube. The colloquy concerned the procedure commonly called “partial-birth” abortion. Boxer and other maximalists regarding the “right to choose” prefer the more anodyne but less descriptive phrase “late-term” abortion. Readers can decide which is the more candid denotation of this: The baby is about 80 percent delivered, feet first, until a portion of the skull is exposed. Then the skull is punctured and collapsed as its contents are sucked out.

In the 1999 colloquy, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) said: Suppose during this procedure the baby slips entirely from the mother’s birth canal. “You agree, once a child is born, is separated from the mother, that that child is protected by the Constitution and cannot be killed? Do you agree with that?” Boxer: “I think when you bring your baby home, when your baby is born … the baby belongs to your family and has all the rights.” Santorum persisted: “Obviously, you don’t mean they have to take the baby out of the hospital for it to be protected by the Constitution. Once the baby is separated from the mother, you would agree—completely separated from the mother—you would agree that the baby is entitled to constitutional protection?” She would not say “yes.” Instead, she said, understandably: “I don’t want to engage in this.”

Two issues ago, this column said, “It is theoretically impossible to fashion an abortion position significantly more extreme than Boxer’s, which is slightly modified infanticide.” Her “when you bring your baby home” criterion means that a born baby acquires a right to life only when a mother or family decides to confer that right.

She also says she opposes partial-birth abortion “except in cases to save the life or health of the mother.” But the “health” exception is widely recognized as a loophole designed to, and large enough to, vitiate any law banning the procedure: An abortion-providing doctor can say that a mother’s mental health is threatened by depression or anxiety about being denied an abortion, however late in the third trimester of gestation.
Barbara Boxer in an intellectual argument with George Will - it's like a kiddie basketball team taking on the Los Angeles Lakers. Just not pretty.