When pro-life stalwart Rick Santorum introduced the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in February 2003, everyone in Congress knew what he was talking about.
Before that, when Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee first coined the term “partial-birth abortion” in 1995, people in the room had a pretty good idea from where he was coming.
We’ll go so far as to say that anyone who is vaguely familiar with the divisive abortion issue are more than familiar with the term “partial-birth abortion”.
But to clear things up, allow us to use the language that was ultimately passed 281-142 at the 108th Congress just over 17 years ago:
“Defines a “partial-birth abortion” as an abortion in which the person performing the abortion: (1) deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the mother’s body, or, in the case of a breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the mother’s body; and (2) performs the overt act, other than completion of delivery, that kills the partially delivered living fetus.”
You will hear from other corners that the term “partial-birth” is not a medical term. These corners will alternately refer to “dilation and extraction” (D&X) or “intact dilation and extraction” (intact D&E). It still does nothing to veer away from the sheer inhumanity of the barbaric procedure: removing the fetus intact by dilating a pregnant woman’s cervix, then pulling the entire body out through the birth canal.
The language here is extremely important. Impacted molars get extracted. Infants in-utero need to be forcibly pulled out of their mother’s womb.
Xavier Becerra was one of the 142 dissenters when Congress voted October 2, 2003. He was not one of the 12 who abstained. Becerra knew exactly what was on the table, and he knew exactly what the procedure entails. But today, Joe Biden’s Secretary for Health and Human Services wants you to believe that partial-birth abortion isn’t even a “thing”. He said as much when pressed on the issue at last week’s congressional hearings:
Texas representative Dan Crenshaw was a little more bullish with Becerra:
But Becerra first showed his cards in February’s confirmation hearing when he couldn’t even bring himself to say the words in response to a question from Utah Senator Mitt Romney:
Even as Becerra was dodgy in his responses to partial-birth abortion queries in February, he did state time and again that he would “follow the law” as HHS Secretary. Music to the ears of any representative who may not have felt completely sold on Becerra’s qualifications; but wholly transparent to pro-life reps who knew Becerra was just waxing legalese.
“Follow the law?… what law?”
Becerra is smart. Like, snake-in-the-grass smart. But he can’t possibly take pro-life politicians to be that dumb. Can he? Perhaps Republican Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana summed it up perfectly during Becerra’s confirmation hearing: “You’re a very highly trained attorney — great, impeccable credentials.” Seemingly, Senator Susan Collins of Maine saw that as an endorsement; she was the lone Republican to vote on the other side of a 50-49 margin in favour of Becerra’s nomination.
But that lane-change is nothing compared to the one involving a staunchly pro-abortion Democrat many moon ago that still rings loud and clear on the topic of partial-birth abortion. Democrat Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan broke with his own party in May 1996 when he said this of the heinous procedure: “It is as close to infanticide as anything I have come upon in our judiciary.″ The previous December, 9 Democrats sided with all Republicans as the Senate voted 54-44 in favour of outlawing it. And as of 2003, there is now a federal law banning it. Outright.
So why the subterfuge from Becerra? Well, it could be as simple as this: any law Democrats don’t like, they don’t enforce. Take, for instance, the Defense of Marriage Act (Section 3 defined “marriage” as between one and and one woman and “spouse” as a member of the opposite sex). In February 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama administration announced that the Justice Department will no longer attempt to defend Section 3 of DOMA from challenges in states that recognize “gay marriage”. What followed was the dismantling of society’s bedrock; the very foundation of the family.
Now, partial-birth abortion is in the Biden Administration’s cross-hairs. And what has to be unsettling for them is the wave of pro-life laws that are being introduced – and passed – in state legislatures across the country. But the times have changed. Just to prove how far the Democrats have jumped to the left, keep this in mind: when the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was voted on in 2003, 63 House Democrats voted with 218 members of the Republican Party.
But these are not your grand-daddy’s Democrats. And that Health and Human Services Secretary is one helluva lawyer.