- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sex-based abortions

Swedish women will be permitted to abort their children based on the sex of the fetus, according to a ruling by Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare.

The ruling was spurred by a request from Kai Wedenberg, head of the clinic where a woman twice requested, and received, an abortion based on sex.

Mr. Wedenberg asked for clarification from health officials after a woman, who already had two girls, requested amniocentesis and to be told the sex of her unborn child. She found out she was pregnant with another girl and asked for an abortion six days later.

The woman then became pregnant again, returned to the clinic and asked for another amniocentesis, which was not performed. Later, at her ultrasound, she asked the nurse to reveal the sex of her fetus, which was a girl. After learning this, the mother requested an abortion later that day and received it later that week.

Mr. Wedenberg worried in a letter to the board that “the matter has given rise to strong feelings among those involved who, perhaps justifiably, believe that the patient has gone through two abortions because of [the fetus’] gender” and wanted to know “if a caregiver within the public health system has the right to make reference to their own views and the dominant view in our country about genders’ equal value, in preventing a patient, with perhaps a different valuation, from learning the gender of the fetus.”

Sveriges Television reported Tuesday that the board, in response to Mr. Wedenberg’s inquiry, decided it is illegal to deny a woman an abortion up to her 18th week of pregnancy even if her request is based on a sex preference.

Florida’s face-off

The Florida GOP primary is quickly becoming the kind of race conservative activists were egging on in Pennsylvania before Sen. Arlen Specter defected to the Democratic Party.

Grass-roots conservatives who make their opinions known in places such as Redstate.com and the Club for Growth are adopting former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio in much the same way they embraced hard-liner Pat Toomey in his 2004 Republican primary against Mr. Specter. The Republican base, eager for a Specter-Toomey rematch in 2010, was disappointed when Mr. Specter announced he was joining the Democratic Party and thus ducking a primary against Mr. Toomey.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee on Tuesday endorsed Florida Gov. Charlie Crist over Mr. Rubio, and already some party activists are ready to declare war, chiding Mr. Crist’s support for President Obama’s stimulus bill and measures to combat global warming, among other things.

“Those who want the GOP to be the GOP - a party of limited government where the government depends on free people in free markets - will back Rubio,” declared Redstate founder Erick Erickson.

For his part, Mr. Rubio is already running hard against Mr. Crist. Many conservative blogs readily promoted his first video advertisement that features a photo of the governor shaking hands with Mr. Obama. “Today, too many politicians embrace Washington’s same old broken ways,” a narrator says. “But this time, there is a leader who won’t. Let the debate begin.”

Feeling ill

MSNBC’s David Shuster was none too happy with the continued media coverage of Miss California USA Carrie Prejean.

The host asked on-air “Can I vomit right now?” in disgust as a press conference announcing that Miss Prejean would retain her title, despite her pro-traditional marriage activism, came to an end Tuesday.

His fellow anchor, Contessa Brewer, defended the coverage and said it provided a “great jumping-off point” for further debate on same-sex marriage.

Mr. Shuster dismissed her. “The only jumping-off point is jumping off a cliff if you really believe that people at these pageants have anything worthwhile to say to the rest of us,” he said. “If you really believe that, then that’s your jumping-off point, and I suggest you jump off the cliff, because this is as superficial as you’ll ever see.”

• Amanda Carpenter can be reached at acarpenter@ washingtontimes.com

• Amanda Carpenter can be reached at acarpenter@washingtontimes.com.

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