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House GOP’ers Kick the Poor, Push Fringe Abortion Bill

Posted on Dec 1, 2006

In a cynical and mean-spirited attempt to reach out to their vaunted “base,” lame-duck conservative House Republicans plan on ignoring their duties to pass spending bills that would benefit the poor, and instead will put their energies into passing a “fetal pain” abortion bill based on “science” rejected by the American Medical Association.

Think Progress:

But while spending bills aren’t on the agenda, a “fetal pain abortion bill”—which has no chance of passing and is described as a “last bid for loyalty” from the “base of social conservatives”—is:

The bill, by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., defines a 20-week-old fetus as a “pain-capable unborn child” a highly controversial threshold among scientists. It also directs the Health and Human Service Department to develop a brochure stating “that there is substantial evidence that the process of being killed in an abortion will cause the unborn child pain.”

A report last year by the Journal of the American Medical Association reviewed nearly 2,000 studies on fetal pain and concluded that “legislative proposals to allow fetal pain relief during abortion are not justified by scientific evidence.”


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By Hondo, December 6, 2006 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Those are very nice dictionary definitions of the words “conservative” and “liberal”, but they have nothing to do with today’s political discussion. If you would like to read a thorough explanation of the difference between liberals and conservatives, I would suggest the following links:

You’ll never read a more accurate, truthful, or complete explanation of the differences.

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By William, December 3, 2006 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Guess it’s where you look as to discribing liberal and conservative.

I found:
“stingy; bigoted; intolerant; preservative; disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions; cautious; disposed to greed; narrow in opinion or judgment.”

“lavish; not narrow in opinion or judgment; inclusive; tolerant; idealistic; generous; not orthodox; not literal; bountiful.”

Must have been a wacko liberal rag this came out of. Seems on the mark to me though.


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By GW=MCHammered, December 3, 2006 at 10:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

re: Comment #40568
Mister Hondo asks, “What color is the sky on your planet?”

The sky is a beautiful lucid blue here on planet Earth. Now let’s go over some definitions:

A person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties
A person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets
Showing or characterized by broad-mindedness
Having political or social views favoring reform and progress
Tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition

A person who has conservative ideas or opinions
Believing in or supporting tenets of the political right
Resistant to change
Opposed to liberal reforms
Unimaginatively conventional
Conforming to the standards and conventions of the middle class

Frankly, the more I hear this hateful (fox news) tone and witness the human intemperance of this (out > going) government, the more I wholeheartedly believe they are committed to bringing in a new age of grim oppression. Perhaps a better term to separate the conservative from the neoconservative and clarify the true neocon agenda would be…

A group of conspirators banded together to achieve some harmful or illegal purpose
A secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act

I know the sky’s color on their planet. It is macabre black.

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By Hondo, December 2, 2006 at 11:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What’s it like being a liberal? In order to be a liberal, a person has to be wholeheartedly committed to:
1. ...the death of millions of unborn babies, who DO feel pain as they are being murdered.
2. ...the expenditure of billions of taxpayer dollars for socialist programs that have never worked in the past, don’t work today, and have no chance of working in the future.

Liberalism is a cancer that renders the infected individual unable to differentiate between right and wrong, fact and fiction, or good and evil. God help you poor, pathetic souls!

What color is the sky on your planet?

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By GW=MCHammered, December 2, 2006 at 11:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ru-486 for the poor
hr-676 for the ailing middle class
polonium-210 for moneyed world shakers
fu-666 for all the meddling special interest

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By maggie, December 1, 2006 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Could Be Worse,

When my child was in NICU, I was told that they often do not give anesthesia to newborns during certain procedures, as they do not seem to have a pain response at first.

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By Jeanne, December 1, 2006 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Of course they ignored the poor. The poor helped push them out of office. The Republican Party is full of people who carry grudges. They were in office for the money to be gained and the people of this nation took that away. To ignore children in poverty is cruel and inhumane. This congress consistantly ignored the poor. They never cared about anyone other than themselves, a religious base that ignores the poor and the wealthy who exploit the poor.

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By CouldBeeWorse, December 1, 2006 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The 2005 JAMA article you mention turned into something of an embarassment for JAMA when the JAMA editor admitted that she had not known (and thus, did not disclose) that the lead author was a medical student previously employed as a lawyer by NARAL, and that one of the co-authors ran the biggest abortion clinic in San Francisco.  The Philadelphia Inquirer reported:  “JAMA editor-in-chief Catherine D. DeAngelis said she was unaware of this, and acknowledged it might create an appearance of bias that could hurt the journal’s credibility. ‘This is the first I’ve heard about it,’ she said. ‘We ask them to reveal any conflict of interest. I would have published’ the disclosure if it had been made.”

More to the point, there is in fact a lot of evidence that by the beginning of the sixth month (if not earlier), the human fetus is sensitive to painful stimuli.  This bill kicks in at 20 weeks fertilization, which is the same as 22 weeks in the “last menstrual period” system used by ob/gyns, which is about the start of the sixth month.

For example, a review of the available studies on the subject published in September 1999 in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology—which is the top ob-gyn journal in the United Kingdom—concluded: “Given the anatomical evidence, it is possible that the fetus can feel pain from 20 weeks and is caused distress by interventions from as early as 15 or 16 weeks.” 

Dr. Kanwaljeet S. Anand of the University of Arkansas, whose pain research years ago changed many practices involving newborns, said, “It is my opinion that the human fetus possesses the ability to experience pain from 20 weeks of gestation, if not earlier, and that pain perceived by a fetus is possibly more intense than that perceived by newborns or older children.”

If one visits any neonatal unit one is likely to find premature newborns at 23 weeks, 24 weeks, 25 weeks, 26 weeks, 27 weeks, 28 weeks.  It has been recognized by medical science for decades that these newborn premature infants feel pain, and steps are taken to minimize it to the extent possible.  (As a neonatal nurse if you don’t believe me.)  Why should we believe that the fetus in utero, at the very same stages, is insensible to stimuli (during an abortion) far more violent than anything the neonatal staff would inflict on the newborn?

By the way, NARAL put out a statement last year that it “does not intend to oppose this legislation.”  As far as I am aware, the AMA has not taken any position on it.

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By Margaret Currey, December 1, 2006 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This congress wants to pass bills on things that are not as important as other issues, but being that Bush is a lame duck, and also that he has all these signing agreements nothing important will be passed by congress as long as Bush is still president, I say impeach him and Chaney.

Margaret of Vancouver, Washington

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