Partial Birth Abortion: The Logical And Illogical Arguments

1961 words - 8 pages

Partial-Birth Abortion: The Logical and Illogical Arguments

In 1992, a new abortion procedure was introduced to the United States public. It was first performed by Dr. James McMahon and explained by Dr. Martin Haskell (Scully). It was used during the second and third trimesters (around twenty to twenty-four weeks along) and involved partially delivering the fetus so the doctors could remove the baby’s brain with suction (Wagner). The term “D&X”, which stands for “intact dilation and extraction,” was used to refer to this procedure (Hoyt). It was not until a few years later that debates about this procedure came about. In 1995, “Representative Charles Canady (R., Fla) introduced the Partial Birth Abortion Act” (Scully). Since then, the issue has been debated extensively. There have been questions about the accuracy of some facts that have been presented. This extremely political issue has more than just the usual two sides: Democratic and Republican. There are people against it who would like it banned completely, while others are against it but do not think it should be banned. Then, there are some who are in favor of it because they see nothing wrong with it, while still others are in favor of it just because they think that doing away with it would take away women’s rights. Those opinions and any others can mainly boil down to proponents and opponents of partial-birth abortion. In many articles over the years, both proponents and opponents have each given their logical appeals, emotional appeals, and ethical appeals while trying to destroy the other side of the issue.

The first topic to discuss is the logical appeal of the argument. According to the proponents for the issue of partial-birth abortion, this type of abortion is not used very often and only when the mother’s life is in danger or the fetus is badly deformed. There were a few problems with their arguments. One problem being that every report that came out had a different number when it came to the frequency of this procedure. The National Abortion Federation claimed that “this procedure is used only in about 500 cases per year” (Scully). Then a reporter named Ruth Padawer conducted her own research and learned that “at least 1500 [partial-birth abortions] a year” were being performed at one clinic (Scully). Since the numbers did not match, it was obvious that someone was not telling the truth about the issue. It seems like the proponents of the topic may have been keeping information from the public to try and make their case sound better. In addition to the number problem, there was also a problem concerning the reason for the procedure. Originally, proponents claimed that “doctors only use the procedure when a woman’s life is threatened or when the fetus is fatally deformed”, but the public soon found out that there were other (nonessential) reasons that this procedure was being used (Walker). Padawer was also told that “out...

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