Friday, March 29, 2013

Red herrings in abortion

Florida is considering another abortion restriction bill.  During the hearing, they asked what happens if a live baby is born as the result of an abortion.  The answer has raised accusations of infanticide, which is a red herring.

Before 24 weeks, the fetus wouldn't be viable.  After 24 weeks, abortion is exceedingly rare:  only 1.3% of all abortions are after 21 weeks, and even fewer after 24 weeks. 

Abortion after 24 weeks is illegal in Florida unless two doctors approve and agree that the abortion is medically necessary, which is unconstitutional.  No woman is having an abortion after 24 weeks unless the fetus is unlikely to survive in any case.  This particular "born alive" red herring has been used for over a decade, most recently against President Obama in his elections in 2004 and 2008 because he opposed a similar bill in Illinois.  This medical care for accidental babies issue just hurts women facing already difficult and often traumatic circumstances.

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