Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Judith Warner: Poisonous Choices, Women at Risk

Guest columnist for the New York Times Judith Warner has published a column arguing that partial birth abortion bans are dangerous for women's health.  Warner claims that:

      When the Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 to uphold the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act this spring, the ambivalently pro-choice public was largely quiescent, believing, as Congress had previously ruled, that the procedure was “gruesome and inhuman,” medically unnecessary, highly controversial in the medical community and so rare as to be little missed.

     What’s clear, however, as the ban has become a reality, is that fetuses will be spared no brutality. Second trimester abortion is still legal and the most common method for it — dismembering a fetus inside the womb before removing it in pieces — is no less awful to contemplate than the outlawed procedure, in which an intact fetus’s skull was punctured and collapsed to ease its removal. But women are now more at risk. And doctors have been forced into a danger zone where they must weigh what they believe to be best medical practices against the need to protect themselves from the threat of prosecution.

The full text of the article is available to Times Select subscribers, and a more detailed summary can be found in this Kaiser Daily Report.

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