"On top of the terrible thing they're going through, they're concerned about their ability to have children again. In some cases, and they are extremely rare, this procedure is the only safe alternative available to them.
"Anyone who knows someone who has gone through this is terribly offended by legislators and lobbyists using these medical emergencies and these rarities to suggest that this is the norm, that these are women who just changed their mind about being pregnant.
"It's just horrible."
That it is. But it's also the basis of a very simple strategy, one articulated by the virulently anti-choice National Review in its current issue:
"Pro-lifers have for years been coming to the conclusion that they should shift their short-term focus away from a Human Life Amendment. They haven't forced a vote on it since 1983. And they started making partial-birth abortion an issue long before any of the current presidential candidates came knocking. The beauty of that issue has been to take the debate down from grand abstractions about 'choice' to the concrete reality of what is being chosen -- to shift public attention from the extremism of pro-lifers to the unjustifiable extremism of pro-choicers."
The "concrete reality" is that there are no "partial-birth abortions" in Missouri, and none are on the horizon, regardless of what the Legislature does or doesn't do. But that hasn't kept the anti-abortion side from inventing the need for such legislation, no doubt "to shift public attention to the unjustifiable extremism of pro-choicers."
That's why we have "partial-birth" legislation that has nothing to do with "partial birth."
It's a big lie.
And there's nothing partial about that.