- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 3, 2004

The coming election is about many things. One issue that should be debated is whether “we the people” wish to continue allowing unelected federal judges to decide what the law should be.

The latest outrage comes from the chambers of one Phyllis Hamilton, a U.S. District judge in San Francisco. Judge Hamilton, who was appointed by Bill Clinton, has ruled the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act passed by Congress and approved by even some strongly “pro-choice” members is unconstitutional because it infringes on a “woman’s right to choose.” Judge Hamilton not only bought the illogic of Planned Parenthood’s attorneys but their disingenuous language, too.

This isn’t about abortion. This is child sacrifice, a practice associated with ancient cults and pagan rituals. It is also about politics, which can obscure logic and reasoned argument.

And it is about the pro-abortion lobby seeing any restriction on the extermination of a child with a beating heart and brainwaves and the ability to live outside the woman as a step toward banning all abortions. So for the sake of maintaining “political purity,” the pro-abortion lobby continues to stain humanity by endorsing this horrible procedure.

The American Medical Association has said there is no medical necessity for “intact dilation and extraction.” But the pro-abortion lobby believes there is a political necessity for it.

When President Bush signed the measure into law last November, he rightly said, “A terrible form of violence has been directed against children who are inches away from birth while the law looked the other way.”

Numerous polls have shown that when the procedure is accurately explained, 70 percent or more of respondents oppose it, with some calling it manslaughter. But a single federal judge can change the will of a large majority of the people and their elected representatives, as dictators do.

Two more challenges to the law — in Nebraska and New York — are expected to be decided by other federal judges sometime this summer. It is possible they could rule differently, and the Supreme Court will have to make the final decision.

Responding to the San Francisco ruling, Planned Parenthood President Gloria Feldt said it’s not only about “a woman’s right to choose,” but “a doctor’s right to practice medicine.”

If partial-birth abortion is “practicing medicine,” was last month’s beheading of Nick Berg by Islamic terrorists in Iraq a “surgical procedure”?

What’s the difference? Berg had a heartbeat and brainwaves. So does the baby targeted for extermination while emerging from the woman’s womb (she can’t be called a mother, because one must have a child to be a mother and such a child has been declared to be a nonperson by the Supreme Court).

If Judge Hamilton’s ruling is allowed to stand, it will serve as one more judgment on us as a people, on what we believe, on what we are willing to permit and whether the value of human life exists or is solely determined by federal court definitions.

People who have seen pictures of Berg’s beheading (they are available on the Internet) testify to their disgust and horror. Perhaps if videotape or even still pictures of what occurs during a partial-birth abortion were available (I have only seen drawings), the disgust over the pressurized vacuuming of a child’s brain might be as strong. Would the cry then be loud enough to force even federal judges to take notice? It’s possible, but not probable.

This is where our increasingly secular society has taken us. Once viewed by our Founders, most theologians, politicians and doctors as unique creatures whose rights are not granted by government, but endowed by “our Creator,” we have become pieces of meat subject to the butchering whims of unelected judges and of women herded like cattle to this slaughter and who are co-victims with the babies they have chosen to kill. And if we see ourselves as meat, then meat we shall become.

President Bush should make the judiciary a central focus of his re-election campaign.

Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist.

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