Communications Department

Douglas Johnson Letter to the Wall Street Journal

Nov 10, 2003 | PBA

The following letter from NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson was published in the Wall Street Journal on November 10, 2003.

Partial-Birth Abortion Used on Healthy Mothers

In an Oct. 28 column dealing with the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, reporter Tara Parker-Pope asserts that a practitioner “typically chooses it for medical reasons — because of concern about bleeding, the need to act quickly after another type of abortion is started, or because a severe fetal abnormality makes it difficult to perform another method.”

We believe this is a resurrection of old mythology that was propagated by the pro-abortion lobby in 1995-96.  These claims were thoroughly discredited by journalists and congressional investigators who interviewed partial-birth abortionists between 1995 and 1997.

The myth suffered a terrific blow in February 1997, when Ron Fitzsimmons — then and now the executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, a trade association of hundreds of abortion providers — repudiated what he called the “party line,” telling the New York Times:  “In the vast majority of cases, the procedure is performed on a healthy mother with a healthy fetus that is 20 weeks or more along.”

Partial-birth abortions are usually performed in the fifth and sixth months of pregnancy.  Keep in mind that in the fifth and sixth months, premature labor usually results in live birth, and after the fifth month, many born-alive babies survive indefinitely.

Douglas Johnson
Legislative Director
National Right to Life Committee

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