Letters to the Editor Detroit News April 22, 1996 Partial-Birth Abortion

President Clinton has won the dubious distinction once applied to King Ahab of Israel, as chronicled in I King 16:33: "(He) did more to provoke the Lord God ... than all the kings ... that were before him." He has achieved this by his reprehensible veto of the ban on partial-birth abortions.

If we, as Americans, simply blink, yawn and go back to sleep in the face of such barbarism, we will be no better than the Nazis who looked away while Hitler sent millions to the gas chambers.

Bernadine Kitchen

The abortionist who pioneered the late-term partial-birth abortion, and who admits to per- forming the procedure thousands o times, said that 80 percent were purely elective. The other 20 percent include social reasons, such as poverty.

Many respected doctors testified before Congress that they saw no therapeutic value for the mother. The only reason for pulling the child feet-first from the womb and aspirating the brain would be to ensure the death of the child - not the health of the mother.

Outraged, even many liberal Democrats took the high road and voted to ban this barbaric act. Characteristically, Bill Clinton took the low road, vetoing the ban in hopes o keeping the support of abortion-on demand extremists.

Now he has the other 99.5 percent of voters to worry about.

Terri L. Buckshaw

Contrary to Cathy Young's April 16 column, President Clinton' veto of the ban on partial- birth abortions does prove him to be an extremist ("A pro-family abortion procedure"). The bill did contain exception for the life of the mother.

Young's statement that this procedure "is the best way to preserve childbearing ability" is ambiguous and inaccurate. Compared to what, childbirth? Other abortion methods Dr. Warren Hern, who specializes in late-term abortions and wrote the most widely used textbook on abortion procedures, states: "I would dispute any statement that this is the safest procedure to use." Turning the fetus to a breech position is potentially dangerous," and "You have to be concerned about causing amniotic fluid embolism or placental abruption if you do that."

Dr. Pamela Smith, director of medical education at Chicago’s Mt. Sinai Hospital, cites two other concerns: cervical incompetence in subsequent pregnancies caused by three days of forceful dilation of the cervix, and uterine rupture caused by rotating the fetus within the womb. She writes: “There are absolutely no obstetrical situations encountered in this country which require a partially delivered human fetus to be destroyed to preserve the life of mother."

Partial-birth abortion has bee called four-fifths infanticide an one-fifth abortion.

Pope John Paul II has said America's very survival as a nation depends on our willingness to protect the innocent, particularly the unborn. Urge your senators and congressmen to override President Clinton's veto.

Michaei- J. Palied
Maritiette Wisc.

Cathy Young's April 16 column was full of inaccuracies. Advocates' claim that partial-birth abortions nearly always involve fetal defects is untrue. Dr. Martin Haskell, an Ohio abortionist, has said 80 percent are purely elective. Dr. Pamela Smith, of Chicago's Mt. Sinai Hospital, told a House subcommittee that when a mother's life was in danger, no doctor would employ the partial- birth method of abortion, since it takes three days. To say this procedure is "pro-family" makes my blood run cold.

Pat Cavanagh

Nickie McWhirter's April 13 column was headlined, "Abortion wars have not yet begun." I agree. Injustice will ultimately be corrected.

McWhirter denigrates the Christian Coalition and others who protest this injustice against unborn babies by stating they are demonstrating "for our TV viewing pleasure.

She further states that medical experts contend that late-term abortions are rarely done except in emergencies involving defective fetuses incapable of sustaining life, and also posing a significant threat to the life or health of the pregnant woman. Former Surgeon Gen. C. Everett Koop has written that less than 5 percent of third-term abortions were performed because of a defect of the fetus.

The bill vetoed by President Clinton contained a provision to protect the life of the mother. McWhirter i wrong when she states that the bill would have criminalized the procedure without exception.

R.W. Kueber

Whenever Nickie McWhirter writes a column concerning abortion, she always resorts to name calling and perversion (“Abortion wars have not yet begun,” April 13)?

Could it be that the facts are against her? Despite 23 years of killing “unwanted” babies - one every 20 seconds - we have not solved a single social problem. A little research would show that we have more unmarried mothers than ever before, more child abuse, more violence, more spouse abuse, more suicides, more drugs, etc.

And what about the women themselves? More women die today as a result of legal and illegal abortions than ever died prior to its legalization. Three leading causes of women’s' deaths - breast cancer, ectopic pregnancies and suicide have been linked to abortion-.' Women who have had an abortion' also are more likely to take drugs, abuse their children, get a divorce and have a nervous breakdown.

How McWhirter can continually ignore the evidence remains a mystery. Could it be that she doesn't want to know? It is so difficult to admit we are wrong, and so easy to resort to name- calling.

No matter how gifted a writer Nickie McWhirter may think she is, her name-calling and euphemisms tell us she has a lot to learn about life and logic. Having a hardened heart is almost as sad as abortion itself In both cases a life, is lost.

Edmund V. Starret