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Partial-Birth Abortion There are hardly many topics that can raise such debate and invoke such passionate discussion as does abortion Whether one is pro-life or pro-choice the clear and definitive line between the pros and cons of abortion predictably leads to a standstill of opinion Each side is sure that their view is the right view and the nature of the abortion issue does not allow for a middle ground Abortion arguments however are even further broadened and complicated by the sub-issues they include One such sub-issue is partial-birth abortion Partial-birth abortions are those that are performed in the late second or third trimester of pregnancy The procedure usually calls for the abortionist to turn the unborn baby into the breech or feet first position then pulling the child from the mother until all but the head is exposed Scissors are then jabbed into the base of the babys skull where a catheter is inserted to suction out the babys brain effectively collapsing the skull and allowing for the easy removal of the dead baby from the mother To date about forty states have deemed partial-birth abortions illegal though on the federal level attempts by Congress to ban this practice had been repeatedly vetoed by Bill Clinton Current president George W Bush indicated during the election campaign that he would fight for the abolition of these abortions though no action has been taken as of yet Furthermore the Federal Supreme Court struck down a ban on partial-birth abortions in July of 2000 deeming it unconstitutional perhaps feeling a need to protect Roe v Wade The Catholic Church of course is strongly opposed to partial-birth abortions and has consistently presented a strong lobbying presence in Washington DC pledging to continue their efforts until the procedure is banned In his homily at St Patricks Cathedral on Sunday January 18 1998 the late John Cardinal OConnor reiterated the Churchs rejection of partial-birth abortion calling it infanticide
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