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Thursday, December 7, 2006

In Abortion News

posted by on December 7 at 11:52 AM

A bill that would have required doctors to tell women (inaccurately, according to an extensive review of the evidence) that fetuses can feel pain as early as 20 weeks’ gestation* and offer them “fetal anasthetic” fell short of the two-thirds vote needed in the House yesterday (via Kaiser). Forty Democrats and 210 Republicans voted for the legislation, which was opposed by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the National Abortion Federation but not by NARAL Pro-Choice America, whose leader, Nancy Keenan, is a devout Catholic who personally opposes abortion.

* A few charming facts about this bill, which received the support of a majority of the House: It would have applied to all fetuses 20 weeks past fertilization—a definition rejected by doctors, who define fetal age by the number of weeks past a woman’s last menstrual period. Because many contraceptives prevent implantation, but not fertilization, this definition was widely seen as a sneaky attack on contraception. The bill also defined a “woman” as “a female human being who is capable of becoming pregnant”—bad news for infertile and post-menopausal human beings who previously considered themselves women.

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Can someone explain to me how NARAL, who have been the leader in the abortion rights movement for 35 years or more, ended up with an anti-abortion head? I don't get it. Is Trent Lott going to take over the NAACP next?

Posted by Fnarf | December 7, 2006 12:06 PM

how the hell does a catlick become the head of NARAL?!?!?

Posted by Mike in MO | December 7, 2006 12:14 PM

i think that's entirely the point. it's about choice and respecting the individual to make that choice for themselves rather than you (or me) making it for them. Nancy Keenan, as someone who chooses not to have an abortion herself but is leading the fight for others to make to decide what is best for them individually, is an example of what being pro-choice is all about.

what separates pro-life from pro-choice is that pro-lifers dictate what you can and can't do. They would throw somebody out of their organization if they didn't think like they do. at least... i think that's what separates pro-life from pro-choice?

Posted by charles | December 7, 2006 1:26 PM

charles, it's fine if nancy has her views & is also a member of NARAL. the problem is that with her in the top leadership position, the organization has consistently been on the wrong side of almost every piece of legislation or political race in the last couple of years. NARAL has spent money trying to keep republicans in power, vocalized against anti-choice democrats in competitive races (fine to not like them but keep your mouth shut), and not even tried to fight bad legislation.

Posted by jason | December 7, 2006 3:15 PM

since when do you need 2/3s to pass a bill in the house?

Posted by chris | December 7, 2006 4:02 PM

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