The plot thickens on the partial birth abortion issue: where are they ?

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at
Thu Nov 6 04:04:22 MST 2003


(...) within minutes of the signing ceremony, a federal judge in Nebraska
issued a temporary restraining order barring US Attorney John Ashcroft and
the Justice Department from enforcing the new law against four doctors who
practice in more than a dozen states. A district judge in New York took a
similar legal challenge under advisement, after an almost three-hour
hearing. Abortion rights groups have also asked a California court to block
and ultimately overturn the new law.
Bush, an evangelical Christian, cast the ban in stark terms: as the
government coming to the defence of the "innocent child" against "a terrible
form of violence." (...) "Today, at last, the American people and our
government have confronted the violence," Bush said. In a statement,
Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean, a doctor, called it a "dark
day for American women" and warned the ban would "chill the practice of
medicine and endanger the health of countless women."
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the ban was a "practical" step to
reduce US abortions and Bush would support additional efforts to end
abortions, including measures to promote adoption and sexual abstinence. In
drafting the law, the US Congress determined such an exception was not
necessary for health reasons, but did include a more narrow one to save a
woman's life. Under the bill, a doctor could face up to two years in prison
as well as civil lawsuits for performing a "partial birth" abortion, defined
as intentionally killing a foetus that has been partially delivered.



The grand total of partial birth abortions in the USA is around 2,000, or
0.15% of total abortions in the USA. The District of Columbia - home of
Washington, DC - had the highest rate of abortion, at 68.1 per 1,000 women.
Rural Wyoming has one per 1,000 women. "The United States has one of the
highest rates of abortion among industrialised countries outside of eastern
Europe, in large part because we have high levels of unintended pregnancy,"
said Sara Seims, president of AGI, an affiliate of the Planned Parenthood
Federation of America.


Teenage pregnancy rates (number of pregnancies per 1,000 women under 19):

United States: 53 births, 44 abortions per 1,000 (in the USA, 78% of
unintended pregnancies are in this group)

Netherlands: 5 births, 4 abortions per 1,000

Japan 4 births, 6 abortions per 1,000

See further:


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