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PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION Keisha Bland Sociology 101 A01 November 28, 2007 Instructor: Ovetta Robinson-Heyward.

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Presentation on theme: "PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION Keisha Bland Sociology 101 A01 November 28, 2007 Instructor: Ovetta Robinson-Heyward."— Presentation transcript:

1 PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION Keisha Bland Sociology 101 A01 November 28, 2007 Instructor: Ovetta Robinson-Heyward


3 DEFINITION OF ABORTION Abortion: In medicine, an abortion is the premature exit of the products of conception (the fetus, fetal membranes, and placenta) from the uterus. It is the loss of a pregnancy and does not refer to why that pregnancy was lost. A spontaneous abortion is the same as a miscarriage. The miscarriage of 3 or more consecutive pregnancies is termed habitual abortion.miscarriage

4 HISTORY OF ABORTION The first recorded evidence of induced abortion is from the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus in 1550 BC.A Chinese record documents the number of royal concubines who had abortions in China between the years 500 and 515 BC. According to Chinese folklore, the legendary Emperor Shennong prescribed the use of mercury to induce abortions nearly 5000 years ago.

5 CONT’D Many of the methods used in early and primitive cultures were non- surgical. Common techniques used to abort the fetus were physical activities like strenuous labour, climbing, paddling, weightlifting, or diving. Others included the use of irritant leaves, fasting, bloodletting, pouring hot water onto the abdomen, and lying on a heated coconut shell. In primitive cultures, techniques developed through observation, adaptation of obstetrical methods, and transculturation. Archaeological discoveries indicate early surgical attempts at the extraction of a fetus; however, such methods are not believed to have been common, given the infrequency with which they are mentioned in ancient medical texts.primitive culturesclimbingpaddlingweightlifting divingfasting bloodlettingcoconut shell transculturationArchaeologicalsurgicalfetus

6 ROE VS WADE  Roe v. Wade, (1973) was a United States Supreme Court case that resulted in a landmark decision regarding abortion. According to the Roe decision, most laws against abortion in the United States violated a constitutional right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision overturned all state and federal laws outlawing or restricting abortion that were inconsistent with its holdings. Roe v. Wade is one of the most controversial and politically significant cases in U.S. Supreme Court history. Its lesser- known companion case, Doe v. Bolton, was decided at the same time.United StatesSupreme Courtlandmark decisionabortionabortion in the United Statesconstitutional rightprivacyDue Process ClauseFourteenth AmendmentstatefederalholdingsDoe v. Bolton

7 CONT’D The central holding of Roe v. Wade was that abortions are permissible for any reason a woman chooses, up until the "point at which the fetus becomes ‘viable,’ that is, potentially able to live outside the mother's uterus, albeit with artificial aid. Viability is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks."fetusuterus Viability The Court also held that abortion after viability must be available when needed to protect a woman's health, which the Court defined broadly in the companion case of Doe v. Boltonwhich the Court defined broadly

8 CONT’D The Roe v. Wade decision prompted national debate that continues to this day. Roe critics say the ruling is illegitimate because it strays from the text and history of the Constitution, and imposes abortion policy on the states and Congress contrary to American principles of federalism and democracy. Another criticism of Roe (though not one made by the dissenters in the case) is that the majority opinion failed to recognize the personhood of fetal human life, either beginning at conception or later. Supporters describe Roe as vital to preservation of women's equality, personal freedom, and privacy. federalismdemocracypersonhoodhumanlifewomen's equality

9 Photo  The New York Times cover page from January 23, The New York Times  1973. President Lyndon B. Johnson died the same day as the Roe decision.Lyndon B. Johnson

10 What Is Partial-Birth Abortion?  Partial-Birth Abortion Termination of pregnancy without expulsion of all of the products of conception.

11 How Is It Done?  Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist grabs the baby's leg with forceps.  The baby's leg is pulled out into the birth canal.  The abortionist delivers the baby's entire body, except for the head.

12 CONT’D  The abortionist jams scissors into the baby's skull. The scissors are then opened to enlarge the hole.  The scissors are removed and a suction catheter is inserted. The child's brains are sucked out, causing the skull to collapse. The dead baby is then removed. 


14 PARTIAL ABORTION BAN ACT  The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act is a United States law prohibiting a form of late-term abortion that the Act calls partial-birth abortion. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the term "partial- birth abortion" in the act pertains to a procedure that is sometimes called "intact dilation and extraction" by the medical community. Under this law, "Any physician who, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion and thereby kills a human fetus shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both." The law was enacted in 2003, and in 2007 its constitutionality was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart.United States law late-term abortion partial-birth abortionU.S. Supreme Courtintact dilation and extractionGonzales v. Carhart

15 CONT’D  Congress first passed similar laws banning "partial-birth abortion" in December 1995", and again October 1997, but they were vetoed by President Clintonpartial-birth abortion" in December 1995  In the House, the final legislation was supported in 2003 by 218 Republicans and 63 Democrats. It was opposed by 4 Republicans, 137 Democrats, and 1 independent. Twelve members were absent, 7 Republicans and 5 Democrats. In the Senate the bill was supported by 47 Republicans and 17 Democrats. It was opposed by 3 Republicans, 30 Democrats, and 1 independent. Two Senators were absent, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tx.), a supporter of the bill, and Sen. John Edwards (D-NC), an opponent of the bill.HouseRepublicansDemocrats Senate

16 CONT’D  The only substantive difference between the House and Senate versions was the Harkin Amendment expressing support for Roe v. Wade.A House-Senate conference committee deleted the Harkin Amendment, which therefore is absent from the final legislation.On November 5, 2003, after being passed by both the House and the Senate, the bill was signed by President George W. Bush to become law.Roe v. WadeNovember 52003George W. Bush

17 PRESIDENT BUSH SIGNS THE PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION ACT  George W. BushGeorge W. Bush signing the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, surrounded by members of Congress

18 CONT’D  The constitutionality of the law was challenged immediately after the signing. Three different U.S. district courts declared the law unconstitutional. All three cited the law's omission of an exception for the health of the woman (as opposed to the life of the woman), and all three decisions cited precedent set by Roe v. Wade (1973) and Stenberg v. Carhart (2000). The federal government appealed the district court rulings, which were then affirmed by three courts of appeals.The Supreme Court agreed to hear the Carhart case on February 21, 2006, and agreed to hear the companion Planned Parenthood case on June 19, 2006.U.S. district courtsRoe v. WadeStenberg v. CarhartFebruary 212006June 192006

19 CONT’D  On April 18, 2007 the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision, Gonzales v. Carhart, held that the statute does not violate the Constitution. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority which included Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and Chief Justice John Roberts. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the dissent which was joined by Stephen Breyer, David Souter, and John Paul Stevens.[April 182007Supreme CourtGonzales v. CarhartAnthony KennedySamuel AlitoClarence ThomasAntonin ScaliaJohn RobertsRuth Bader GinsburgStephen BreyerDavid SouterJohn Paul Stevens[

20 EFFECT OF THE BAN ACT  A 2007 article in The Boston Globe reported that, in response to this statute, many abortion providers had adopted the practice of injecting the fetus with lethal drugs before all late-term abortions. Even though these providers do not perform intact dilation and extraction procedures, they feel the broad wording of the ban compels them "to do all they can to protect themselves and their staff from the possibility of being accusedThe Boston Globeinjecting the fetus with lethal drugs





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