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Madfloridian's Journal
Posted by madfloridian in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Jan 10th 2009, 12:16 AM
I was reading an article I had saved from the New York Times in 2006 called Pro-Life Nation. It is about the criminalization of doctors and women in El Salvador. When I read it the first time I did not take it that seriously, as it seemed not to apply to our world so much. As I read it again, I realize we are actually giving up bits and pieces of rights for women all the time now. And it is not just the pro-life Republicans doing it.

Pro-Life Nation

More than a dozen countries have liberalized their abortion laws in recent years, including South Africa, Switzerland, Cambodia and Chad. In a handful of others, including Russia and the United States (or parts of it), the movement has been toward criminalizing more and different types of abortions. In South Dakota, the governor recently signed the most restrictive abortion bill since the Supreme Court ruled in 1973, in Roe v. Wade, that state laws prohibiting abortion were unconstitutional. The South Dakota law, which its backers acknowledge is designed to test Roe v. Wade in the courts, forbids abortion, including those cases in which the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest. Only if an abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother is the procedure permitted. A similar though less restrictive bill is now making its way through the Mississippi Legislature.


I don't know how the bills fared since then, but failure of one bill will not stop them from trying again. Two supposedly enlightened countries moving toward more restrictions and criminalization of abortions. Tragic.

In this new movement toward criminalization, El Salvador is in the vanguard. The array of exceptions that tend to exist even in countries where abortion is circumscribed — rape, incest, fetal malformation, life of the mother — don't apply in El Salvador. They were rejected in the late 1990's, in a period after the country's long civil war ended. The country's penal system was revamped and its constitution was amended. Abortion is now absolutely forbidden in every possible circumstance. No exceptions.



Donna Ferrato for The New York Times
The Judge: Margarita Sanabria, a magistrate who has handled several abortion cases. "The more years one can send someone away for, the better it is for the prosecutors," she says.


Don't forget to look at the other photos at the link.

There is more.

There are other countries in the world that, like El Salvador, completely ban abortion, including Malta, Chile and Colombia. El Salvador, however, has not only a total ban on abortion but also an active law-enforcement apparatus — the police, investigators, medical spies, forensic vagina inspectors and a special division of the prosecutor's office responsible for Crimes Against Minors and Women, a unit charged with capturing, trying and incarcerating an unusual kind of criminal. Like the woman I was waiting to meet.


We are easily accepting in our party now of telling women they must understand and accept the pro-lifers into the party. I agree there is a place. I just don't think some of our leaders realize that some of these groups who are now dictating our right to choose policies (Democrats for Life is one) are not looking for moderation and compromise. They are looking for control.

We are, a few of us, questioning that our new party chairman is not pro-choice and doesn't not even support civil unions. Most don't see a problem. I do see one.

There is a lot going on in our country. Until the religious right made a big deal and coined a new term...partial birth abortions...there weren't many. Only those that were matters of life or death, or serious deformity...decisions best left between the woman and her doctor. Now it has gone so far that the Supreme Court will permit a ban on them..with no exception for the health of the mother.

New laws taking away women's rights.

The bill from 2003 read like this:

Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003: Vote to pass a bill banning a medical procedure, which is commonly known as "partial-birth" abortion. The procedure would be allowed only in cases in which a women's life is in danger, not for cases where a women's health is in danger. Those who performed this procedure, would face fines and up to two years in prison, the women to whom this procedure is performed on are not held criminally liable.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Santorum, R-PA; Bill S.3 ; vote number 2003-530 on Oct 2, 2003


The Supreme Court went further than they had before and did not allow the part about the health of the woman.

In a major ruling dealing with abortion rights in America, the US Supreme Court has upheld a federal law banning certain late-term abortions.

In a 5-to-4 decision announced Wednesday, the high court upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. The move comes nearly seven years after the Supreme Court declared a similar Nebraska law unconstitutional because it lacked an exception to protect a woman's health.

This time a different lineup of justices upheld a federal version of essentially the same law, even though it does not contain a so-called health exception that would permit the banned abortion procedure when a physician deemed it necessary to safeguard a woman's health.

The decision marks the first time since the landmark abortion precedent Roe v. Wade in 1973 that the nation's highest court has ruled in a way that places considerations of a woman's health as secondary to efforts by the government to restrict abortion procedures performed prior to fetal viability. That shift could embolden antiabortion forces to try to enact more restrictions at the state level.


It was easy enough to get the ban on late term abortions. The Democrats helped it along.

Harold Ford

Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortion except to save mother’s life.
Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003: Vote to pass a bill banning a medical procedure, which is commonly known as "partial-birth" abortion. The procedure would be allowed only in cases in which a women's life is in danger, not for cases where a women's health is in danger. Those who performed this procedure, would face fines and up to two years in prison, the women to whom this procedure is performed on are not held criminally liable.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Santorum, R-PA; Bill S.3 ; vote number 2003-530 on Oct 2, 2003

Tom Carper:

Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions except for maternal life.
S. 3 As Amended; Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. Vote to pass a bill banning a medical procedure, which is commonly known as "partial-birth" abortion. Those who performed this procedure would then face fines and up to two years in prison, the women to whom this procedure is performed on are not held criminally liable. This bill would make the exception for cases in which a women's life is in danger, not for cases where a women's health is in danger.

Also voting for the so-called "partial birth abortion" ban were other Democrats. The bill did not allow for a woman's health to be considered. Just a life or death situation.

In the Senate:

John Breaux, Harry Byrd, Kent Conrad, Tom Daschle, Byron Dorgan, Fritz Hollings, Tim Johnson, Mary Landrieu, Patrick Leahy, Blanche Lincoln, Miller (GA), Ben Nelson, Pryor AK, Harry Reid.

Not voting.
John Edwards, John Kerry, Joe Biden.


I am been thinking a lot this week with all the events that are happening. I think when the rights of women are compromised, when the rights of the GLBT community are compromised...when both are asked to step back and be respectful of the new pro-life Democrats...then we truly are heading down that slippery slope. Ever try to scramble back up one of those slopes? Very hard to do.
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