Bond supports partial-birth abortion ban
By Don Hinkle
November 18, 2003
JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri ’s senior senator says the fight against those blocking a ban on partial birth abortion will continue for as long as it takes to win.
In an exclusive Nov. 7 interview with The Pathway, GOP Sen. Kit Bond said President Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft are committed to fight their way through an activist judiciary to get the ban enacted.
“It’s about time we passed this partial birth abortion ban overwhelmingly," he said, referring to Congress’ approval of the ban.
Bond was among the 64 senators who voted for the ban in October (34 voted against). The House had passed the measure earlier by a 281-142 margin. It marked the third time Congress had approved a ban, but the first two were vetoed by former President Bill Clinton. In both 1996 and 1998 the House achieved the two-thirds majorities needed to override the vetoes, but the Senate fell short.
“The good news is we finally have a president and an attorney general who are willing, not only to sign the bill, but to fight for it," said Bond, who described himself as a “struggling Christian who … prays every day for guidance." He is a member – and remains on the regular usher schedule – at the First Presbyterian Church, Mexico.
“President Bush and John Ashcroft have committed to devoting all the resources necessary to defend the law (which the president signed Nov. 5) and prohibit partial birth abortion once and for all."
But within hours of Bush’s signing the bill into law, three federal judges issued injunctions to prevent enforcement of the ban. The rulings came after lawsuits were filed in behalf of abortionists at 900 Planned Parenthood clinics nationwide and the National Abortion Federation, which claims its doctors perform half the abortions in America. It will now be months, if not years, before courts determine if the partial birth abortion ban law is constitutional. The case could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The Department of Justice is going to fight it all the way and we hope and pray that ultimately we will get it upheld," Bond said. “We’ve got the (Bush) administration solidly on our side and that’s the first time in a decade we’ve had (presidential) support."
Bond called the partial birth procedure “gruesome, inhumane medically and unnecessary procedurally."
Named “dilation and extraction" by a doctor who helped develop it, the procedure generally consists of the delivery of an intact baby feet first until only the head is left in the birth canal. The doctor pierces the base of the baby’s skull with surgical scissors, then inserts a catheter into the opening and sucks out the brain. The collapse of the skull provides for easier removal of the baby’s head. Most partial birth abortions occur during the fifth and sixth month of pregnancy.
“The procedure poses serious health risks to the mother and puts physicians, who supposed to preserve and promote life, in a very awkward and unnecessary position," Bond said. “The Congress made extensive findings about this procedure, demonstrating that it is unwarranted and bordering on unethical."
Indeed, C. Everett Koop, U.S. Surgeon General under President Jimmy Carter, said, “Partial birth abortion is never medically necessary to protect a mother’s health or her future fertility." He pointed out that mothers who have the procedure risk uterine rupture, abruption, amniotic fluid embolus, trauma to the uterus, iatrogenic laceration, secondary hemorrhage and infertility.
Bond criticized Democrats who continue to block pro-life Bush appointees to federal courts and legislature that could curtail much of the judicial activism that conservatives say is undermining the Constitution.
“Anytime President Bush appoints a responsible conservative judge, well qualified by the American Bar Association, if they don’t meet the litmus test of the Democrats – and usually that means being pro-abortion – they are filibustered," Bond said. Attempts to deal with judicial activism legislatively are also blocked by Democrats whose “major funding source is the Trial Lawyers Association," he added. “So when a bill comes up that might limit the influence of the Trial Lawyers, the Democrats respond accordingly because they know their “gravy train" and “the Democrats pay attention to their major contributors."
Bond, who is expected to seek re-election next year, said he relies on his faith in Christ every day.
“My wife, Linda, and I were married in the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C.," he said. “I pray every day and get the best guidance I can. I hope I am doing the Lord’s work."