In 1996, the Senate debated outlawing partial-birth abortion, whereby a baby is delivered feet first until only the top of the skull remains in the birth canal, then the skull is punctured and its contents emptied. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) asked two pro-choice senators, Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), this: If the baby slips entirely out of the birth canal before it can be killed, should killing it still be a permissible choice? Neither senator would say no. In a 1999 debate, Santorum asked Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) whether she agreed that “once the child is born, is separated from the mother, that that child is protected by the Constitution and cannot be killed.” Boxer said: “I think that when you bring your baby home . . .”
Sort of like driving a new car away from the dealership. But, then, what principle forbids killing a baby at home if its crying interrupts the parents’ enjoyment of Jay Leno’s monologue?
Recently in Florida, Alisa LaPolt Snow, representing Florida Planned Parenthood organizations, testified against a bill that would require abortionists to provide medical care to babies who survive attempted abortions. Snow was asked: “If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?” Snow replied: “We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family and the physician.” She added, “That decision should be between the patient and the health care provider.” To this, a Florida legislator responded: “I think that at that point the patient would be the child struggling on a table. Wouldn’t you agree?”