What the real outrage should be in the “Trent Franks 20 wk abortion ban” debate

A couple of days ago I wrote about the “outrage” generated by innocent remarks Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) made regarding a woman getting pregnant as a result of rape. As usual, the controversy was overblown by the feminist victim class in our society because nothing churns them up quite like the opportunity to raise loads of cash off the backs of the dead, aborted unborn in order to advance their “women’s health” agenda.  Franks, it should be noted, is also fundraising off of the controversy – as he should, as fair is only fair considering his opposition seeks to harass, belittle, and badger him right out of office via demagoguing the hell  out of what he said during a House Judiciary committee markup Wednesday of his legislation which calls for a ban on abortion at 20 weeks:

In comments likely to stir controversy, Rep. Trent Franks, who has authored a measure banning abortions after 20 weeks without exceptions for rape and incest, said the rate of pregnancies resulting from rape is “very low.”

“The incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low,” Franks, R-Ariz., said during a Judiciary committee markup of his legislation today as he expressed his opposition to a Democratic amendment to allow exceptions for rape and incest.

“When you make that exception, there’s usually a requirement to report the rape within 48 hours and, in this case, that’s impossible because this is in the sixth month of gestation and that’s what completely negates and vitiates the purpose of such an amendment.”

It’s unclear on what numbers Franks based his comments, but The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) estimates that up to 5 percent of  rape victims become pregnant.

Within hours of Franks’ comments, the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and an aide to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi each sent out email blasts capitalizing on news reports covering the Republican’s remarks.


Democrats believe a national 20-week abortion ban “represents a nationwide threat to the health and well-being of American women,” a senior Democratic leadership aide said.

“I just find it astonishing to hear a phrase repeated that the incidence of pregnancy from rape is low,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., responded to Franks. “There’s no scientific basis for that and the idea that the Republican men on this committee can tell the women of America that they have to carry to term the product of a rape is outrageous.”

First off, note that Lofgren made sure to note that all the Republicans on the committee were men, a clear slap at the idea that a man could dare have a legitimately thoughtful opinion on abortion since he can’t have children himself. Keep in mind, however, that it wouldn’t matter if the committee Republicans were all women because – as we all know by now – if you’re a Republican woman who opposes abortion, you can’t possibly be a real woman because real women couldn’t possibly be against a woman making her own “reproductive decisions”, and all that jazz.  In other words, pro-life conservative women simply don’t count to feminists. Also note Lofgren’s comments that seem to dispute Franks’ assertion that pregnancy from rape is relatively low.  If the RAINN statistics as cited above are accurate, 5% is indeed low. Franks point was that banning abortion at 20 weeks would not impact many rape victims since pregnancy from rape rarely happens.

NOW, of course, has started a petition against Franks:

Keep our reproductive rights out of this man’s hands!
Rep. Trent Franks’ (R-Ariz.) nationwide 20-week abortion ban is close to passing. He recently reintroduced the D.C. Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would outlaw abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks, and has amended it to broaden its coverage so that its provisions will apply across all 50 states. Your representative — pro-choice or not — needs to hear from you so that we can preserve women’s rights and lives. Please sign the petition below!

Unfortunately, Lofgren and NOW were far from the only pro-choice liberals to get the vapors over what Franks said.  Predictably, it went all the way to the White House, with paid liar/WH spox Jay Carney shamelessly doing his part to fan the flames:

Democrats on the committee immediately criticized his assertion, and the party’s political wing cited the issue in emails to potential donors and in attacks against GOP candidates across the country.

The White House also weighed in, saying Franks’ comments showed an “alarming disregard for women.”

Spokesman Jay Carney said the White House issues takes “great issue” with the comments. And he said the remarks have shone attention on the bill in a way “Republicans wish the public would forget.”

Liberals and their mainstream media allies really need to stop with the nonsense and manufactured “outrage” on this issue.  Because the outrage nationally over not just what Franks’ said but what he’s trying to do with his pro-life legislation is sorely misplaced.  I wish I could say I was surprised that the left and their back-patting cohorts at left wing news outlets are so willingly ignoring the real issue here, but I’m not. This is what they do. Dodge, deflect, and misdirect.

Per Roe v Wade, abortion is legal up to the point of “viability” – meaning at between 24 and 28 weeks.  Franks’ measure would bump it back to 20 weeks, and he cited fetal development and fetal pain as his main rationale for his bill.   There is a dispute in the medical community as to whether or not an unborn baby can feel fetal pain at 20 weeks, but let’s assume for the sake of discussion that the baby doesn’t feel pain at that stage of development, shall we? Instead let’s focus on the fetal development itself.  From the non-partisan, ahem, folks at Pampers.com:

Making sense. Your baby is truly starting to experience the world around him, limited though it may be. His brain has been working overtime developing the nerve centers dedicated to his senses, and they’re coming alive. He’s more responsive to the changes in the world around him: your activity, sounds in the environment, and even the taste of the amniotic fluid. 

Pick up a hiccup. You’ve probably felt your baby rolling, diving, and kicking inside your belly. Now you might also feel a rhythmic jerking. No, he’s not tapping out a tune; he’s hiccupping. Most babies get the hiccups in utero, possibly due to an immature diaphragm having spasms. There’s nothing you can do to stop the hiccups, but there’s no need to—they won’t harm your baby now or after he’s born.

Sprouting a top. After establishing a scalp hair pattern several weeks ago, your baby is moving to the next step: growing hair. And this isn’t lanugo; it’s the real deal. But don’t get visions of a lustrous mane just yet. Most of this hair will start to fall out two weeks after birth. Don’t worry—your little one will gradually grow permanent hair, which will probably be lighter in color than the hair he has at birth. Elsewhere in your baby’s head, the bones of the inner ear are now fully formed, and the nose is beginning to develop into its recognizable shape.

Measuring up. Your baby weighs about 7.5 to 9 ounces and measures approximately 8.5 inches. You could cup the little guy in the palm of your hand.

Their little limbs are also forming and coming into shape, as we can see from this beautiful photo of an unborn baby at exactly 20 weeks:

Unborn baby at 20 weeks.
Photo courtesy of CountdownMyPregnancy.com. Click on the photo to view more ultrasounds of unborn babies at 20 weeks.

As this adorable video of a 4D ultrasound at 20 weeks and 3 days shows, the baby can definitely move and touch!

What we have at 20 weeks are babies who  look like babies at this stage (because they are!), babies who are aware of their environment, are responsive to sound, can taste the amniotic fluid … but supposedly “can’t feel.” Ok.

Now, with the clear development stage of a baby at 20 weeks in mind – regardless of the “viability” factor – let’s look at what’s involved in abortions at this stage of pregnancy, which is what “feminists” like Lofgren and our celebrity President  demand should be kept “safe and legal”:

D&E — dilation and evacuation — is another kind of in-clinic abortion. D&E is usually performed later than 16 weeks after a woman’s last period.


During a D&E

  • Your health care provider will examine you and check your uterus.
  • You will get medication for pain. You may be offered sedation or IV medication to make you more comfortable.
  • A speculum will be inserted into your vagina.
  • Your cervix will be prepared for the procedure. You may be given medication or have absorbent dilators inserted a day or a few hours before the procedure.  They will absorb fluid and grow bigger. This slowly stretches open your cervix.
  • You will be given antibiotics to prevent infection.
  • In later second-trimester procedures, you may also need a shot through your abdomen to make sure there is fetal demise before the procedure begins.
  • Your health care provider will inject a numbing medication into or near your cervix.
  • Medical instruments and a suction machine gently empty your uterus.

A D&E usually takes between 10 and 20 minutes. But more time is needed to prepare your cervix. Time is also needed for talking with your provider about the procedure, a physical exam, reading and signing forms, and a recovery period of about one hour.

Let me translate Planned Parenthood’s milquetoast description of what happens when a baby is aborted at this stage: Cold, sterile, sharp “medical instruments” and a vacuum are used for up to 20 horrifying minutes to violently rip apart the unborn child piece by agonizing piece in order to remove it from a woman’s uterus. There is nothing “gentle” nor “safe” about this procedure, at least not from the baby’s perspective – if it could talk.  Make no mistake: this involves a lot of blood, mostly the baby’s, and you can use your imagination as to what is left of the baby on the operating table once the deed is done.    Does it REALLY matter if the baby can “feel fetal pain” at this point, considering what is done to it in the name of “women’s health”?  If it is already responding to stimuli, as the Pampers description indicated, it has to know SOMETHING is happening to it, even if it may not actually “feel” anything.   But, again, this hardly matters when you take into consideration the inhumane “medical procedure” that has just been performed on it in order to terminate it.  The “feeling” point only matters to abortion absolutists who give the term “moral bankruptcy” a whole new meaning.

And do I really have to point out how sickening it is, the thought that during some 2nd trimester abortions a woman’s abdomen actually gets a shot to ensure fetal demise”?

I can’t put myself in the shoes of a woman who was raped and became pregnant as a result.  I can only imagine the emotions one must feel if she finds out that her rapist also got her pregnant.  On top of the shame, guilt, and agony she must feel, she must also come to grips that she carries inside her the offspring of a despicable human being who didn’t respect her wishes when she said no.  But I DO know this: regardless of the manner of conception – no matter how cruel, what doesn’t change are the stages of fetal development.   And at 20 weeks, the violence of abortion becomes crystal clear.

So, if someone wants to be “outraged” over Franks’ comments on rape and pregnancy, they should feel free – but they should also remember in their misplaced outrage that there is a very real moral issue here, and that is whether or not the brutal, bloody, ripping practice of abortion should be permitted on an unborn baby whose organs and limbs are clearly developing, who can touch, sense, taste, hear – and perhaps even feel.  It’s time to start respecting not just the life of the unborn, but their humanity, too.  Pro-choice types think the gas chamber for cold-blooded murderers is cruel and unusual punishment, inhumane, undignified.  Why on God’s green earth won’t they give innocent unborn babies – at least ones at this stage of development – the same courtesy?

PS: Exceptions for rape and incest were “quietly” inserted into Franks’ bill today. Will this make the feministas happy?  Don’t count on it, but to be sure,  find out next week as his bill goes to the House floor.

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