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Unheralded Good: The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act

Hardley Arkes

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You might not have heard the news, for the Times and Post and the networks have not thought it something useful for us to hear: But for the first time since Roe v. Wade, the Congress will have enacted, and a president will have signed, a bill that marks a limit to the "right to abortion."

A little more than a week ago, on July 18, the Democrats in the Senatepermitted the reading and the passage of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act,an act that seeks to protect a child who survives an abortion. The Congresscould have accomplished something comparable with the bill on partial-birthabortion. But Bill Clinton vetoed that bill, and the Supreme Court struck downthe similar bills passed in the states...No one except the radical feministsin the National Abortion Rights Action League had the touch of madness to opposethis bill, for no one except a crazed zealot would profess any doubt about the"human" standing of the child at the point of birth. Not that themembers of NARAL have any doubt on that score themselves. It is just that theyare willing to assert, with radical firmness, the right of a woman to destroythe child in her womb as a matter solely of her own interest, and the triumph ofher own will.

But the feminists at NARAL were also moved to passionate opposition becausethey understood this bill better than many of its supposed friends among theRepublicans, for they understood its animating principle. As modest as it was,the bill planted premises that ran deeper than the bill on partial-birthabortion. Indeed, it could be said that, with this bill, the Congress nowprepares an even firmer ground for revisiting the bill on partial-birth abortionand insisting that the courts take a sober second look...

For the complete article go to the National Review Online website.



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