Shelve the Human Life Amendment

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If Gail Sikes ("Were abortion numbers accurate?" Jan. 29) is opposed to abortion, I would think she would be happy about the decrease in the abortion rate, and would want to see these rates decrease even further.

It is unfortunate that she does not support prevention methods such as Plan B, which she erroneously refers to as the new "morning-after pill." This is a Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive method that is easily accessed over the counter at most pharmacies, and is a major reason why the abortion numbers have decreased. This extra-strength birth control prevents pregnancy; it does not harm or terminate a pregnancy.

The Human Life Amendment (H.R. 536) Ms. Sikes referenced does nothing to prevent unintended pregnancy or abortion. Its supporters blatantly state that their intention is to outlaw legal abortion in Georgia, but fail to educate the public on the potential broad medical and legal ramifications. This amendment puts women's health in real jeopardy.

Potentially, a pregnant woman experiencing complications that threaten her life or health would be unable to obtain an abortion. Doctors treating a pregnant woman for a disease or condition that might harm the fetus could be medically liable for prescribing the care that would protect the health of the woman.

It sounds simple, but this amendment has far-reaching implications and is worded so vaguely that its true effect is difficult to predict. It could affect access to birth control, trigger investigations into miscarriages and interfere with medical decisions in treating pregnant women and women with fertility problems. This could lead to massive lawsuits and could bog down our courts.

The Human Life Amendment goes too far -- it puts a woman's health and her ability to make her own medical decisions in real jeopardy.

Mary Beth Pierucci, Augusta

(The writer is director of public policy for Planned Parenthood of Georgia in Augusta.)

Comments (65) Add comment
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christian134
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christian134 02/08/08 - 07:23 am
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Something always can be

Something always can be stated to make others feel more secure and comfortable when a crime that has been made legal is wrapped with pretty little bows in order to ease the other person's guilt or conform with the thinking of man. The laws of God and His Word should be first and foremost before man's laws. Whether you believe it or not abortion of any sort is wrong.

dani
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dani 02/08/08 - 07:25 am
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Human life is too sacred to

Human life is too sacred to shelve the amendment. If changes are needed to protect the health of women, then make the changes. This should not be a reason to discount it completely.(:""

devilishlymad67
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devilishlymad67 02/08/08 - 08:55 am
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Maybe women should educate

Maybe women should educate theirself and show some self control. Or maybe take responsibility and quit using abortion as a form of birth control. There are unfortunate cases of where the life of the mother is in danger and an abortion may become a solution. But those cases are few and far between when compared to the women who use it as birth control because they are either to lazy or to stupid to use something that would prevent the need for an abortion after all.

Republicant
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Republicant 02/08/08 - 09:46 am
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All human life is

All human life is sacred...lets go kill some arabs! No welfare! No Healthcare!
Hypocrites.

JonnRandalphHardisonCain
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JonnRandalphHardisonCain 02/08/08 - 10:01 am
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Republicant......INNOCENT

Republicant......INNOCENT human life is sacred. WORKING is a virtue. Creating a class of people who are dependant on the government is evil! I see no hypocracy there.

Republicant
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Republicant 02/08/08 - 10:20 am
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Working is a virtue. No

Working is a virtue. No doubt. Welfare needs to be restricted to a temporary basis. I do believe in drug testing for welfare recipients also. According to most of the christian denominations, there is no such thing as innocent life, right? Original sin?

Republicant
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Republicant 02/08/08 - 10:21 am
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Devilish, I agree. Abortion

Devilish, I agree. Abortion should not be a primary form of birth control. That porn star mary carey has had 7 abortions. Disgusting. She should have been aborted.

JonnRandalphHardisonCain
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JonnRandalphHardisonCain 02/08/08 - 10:29 am
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Ok....I'll

Ok....I'll rephrase....legally innocent life (those who themselves have done no wrong) should not be destroyed.

_kpc_
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_kpc_ 02/08/08 - 10:33 am
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This argument will never end

This argument will never end until people agree on when life begins. To me, it is at conception. I can think of no other time during development that is so well defined. If you are one of those who doesn't believe that life begins at conception, then you will have a different take, and while I disagree, I can respect your view. If you believe that life begins at conception but still favor abortion, then you are an evil, despicable person.

Republicant
3
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Republicant 02/08/08 - 11:02 am
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Haha. No doubt KPC. Havent

Haha. No doubt KPC. Havent seen you in a while.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 02/08/08 - 11:04 am
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It is a fact that life begins

It is a fact that life begins at conception. No one can doubt that. Even those few cells are "alive" (they metabolize, then generate energy, they respond to stimuli, they reproduce). There is no question that they are very much alive. I think the only real question is, how many living cells does it take to classify this living fetus a "person"? Who can really say? The Supreme Court? Don't think so. Mary Beth P.? Absolutely no way. So, what do we do? For me, it is safer to believe "personhood" begins at conception. That way, you know you are not risking the destruction of an innocent person (i.e., murder). If you say that "personhood" does not begin until maybe 60 days, you're being arbitrary and just making a hopeful guess. Such speculation is very slippery ground where a human life is concerned.

Republicant
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Republicant 02/08/08 - 11:06 am
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To me the argument is not

To me the argument is not that abortion is right. That is not the issue for pro choice. Otherwise they would be called pro abortion. Not Choice. That is demagoguery by the pro lifers. Giving pro-choicer's a false stance, and then arguing against that position.

_kpc_
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_kpc_ 02/08/08 - 11:15 am
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The argument could more

The argument could more rightfully be, is abortion a valid choice? Saying that "pro lifers" are against choice also gives them a false stance. There are many choices still available to a woman who is with child. "Pro lifers" aren't "anti-choice" they just believe that killing the child isn't a valid choice.

gagirl40
113
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gagirl40 02/08/08 - 12:01 pm
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JRHC...Republicant's point

JRHC...Republicant's point was...So many pro-lifers are the same ones who want every single child born, but don't care what happens to it AFTER it is born. When you force an unwed poor woman to have a baby she can't afford, someone has to take responsibility for that child. I respect the opinion of people like KPC about why he is against abortion. I understand the pro-life side. I don't happen to agree, but I understand it. What I will never understand is the stance most of them have against birth control and sex education. Why not do all we can to PREVENT pregnancies in the first place?

_kpc_
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_kpc_ 02/08/08 - 12:05 pm
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gagirl....not to get into

gagirl....not to get into this again, but I DO believe in birth control.....just not "retroactive" birth control.

JonnRandalphHardisonCain
0
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JonnRandalphHardisonCain 02/08/08 - 12:08 pm
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So killing the child is

So killing the child is better than he or she living a rough life?

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 02/08/08 - 12:12 pm
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Isn't it the obligation of

Isn't it the obligation of both a responsible woman and a responsible man NOT to get pregnant unless they intend to care for that child? I totally agree that PREVENTION is the key. Do all we can to prevent "unwanted" pregnancies, including choosing not to make a baby if you refuse take responsibility for your actions. Problem is, people don't want to be responsible for their own actions. People have the right and ability to choose when and how to get pregnant, or whether not to get pregnant at all (hey, don't have sex and you won't get pregnant). But once a child is there, it's not about a choice any more. The choice has been made. Now, it's about forcing your will upon the life of another human being, and even terminating that life if you so desire (without the consent of the human being in question, I might add). Prevention is the key, for sure, because after a child is there you can't go back.

JonnRandalphHardisonCain
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JonnRandalphHardisonCain 02/08/08 - 12:17 pm
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howcanweknow..... you will no

howcanweknow..... you will no doubt, now be bombarded with statements such as "what about rape or incest?" as if that were the reason for the majority of all abortions.

JonnRandalphHardisonCain
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JonnRandalphHardisonCain 02/08/08 - 12:22 pm
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Who are all these pro-lifers

Who are all these pro-lifers that are against birth control? Other than Catholics, they are few and far between.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 02/08/08 - 12:25 pm
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JRHC, right you are. But, I

JRHC, right you are. But, I think the best way to look an issue is to see what is reality 99% of the time, not an occasional exception to the general rule. I don't want to stir up anything, but there really is a simple solution to all this. If everyone would be responsible for their own actions both before and after conception, we probably won't be having this discussion.

JonnRandalphHardisonCain
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JonnRandalphHardisonCain 02/08/08 - 12:29 pm
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Don't count on it,

Don't count on it, howcanweknow.....most of those crying for abortion are the same one's that will accept NO personal responsibility.

gagirl40
113
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gagirl40 02/08/08 - 01:16 pm
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Rape and incest are a reality

Rape and incest are a reality in this country. Also, less than 53% of rape victims report their rape. Therefore how in the world do you or anyone else know that abortions preformed due to rape or incest are "an occasional exception to the general rule"? And since women are fertile each and every month if women used abortions as birth control most women would have over 12 abortions in their life. They don't. 90% of women who have had abortions have had only one or two in their life. That can hardly be considered birth control. Also, 54% of women who have had an abortion were using some method of birth control. The highest percentage of women who had abortions who didn't use contraception were less educated women. Point: We need more sex education and better contraception. As I said before, prevention is key! And JRHC..the ones against birth control are the same ones who preach against abortions. "A growing number of doctors and pharmacists are now refusing to dispense it (the pill), on the grounds that it is actually a form of abortion." http://abortiondebate.tribe.
net/thread/f5698f87-4388-
4a0d-8e8a-c4acce33f564

grouse
1635
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grouse 02/08/08 - 01:32 pm
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Innocent life? Like Iraqi
Unpublished

Innocent life? Like Iraqi civilians?

dani
12
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dani 02/08/08 - 01:49 pm
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grouse..Many, many less than

grouse..Many, many less than was being killed with Saddam in power.

christian134
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christian134 02/08/08 - 02:13 pm
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If men would keep their hands

If men would keep their hands and body parts off women and women keep their pants on we would not have this discussion. The Lord God says it is a sin to kill so therefore the killing of an unborn child is murder.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 02/08/08 - 02:14 pm
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GaGirl40, I think I might be

GaGirl40, I think I might be able to clear up one of your concerns concerning birth control. I don't know of anyone who is against preventative birth control (well, maybe that is still the official line of the Catholic Church?). Your quote above about not dispensing bc pills because they are a form of abortion I think is misunderstood. Most bc pills prevent conception. That is NOT abortion. However, RU486, the "morning after" pill, does not prevent conception. Instead, it prevents a fertilized egg from implanting successfully in the uterine lining -- therefore, it "aborts" an already viable fetus. It's the same as if the uterus was vacuumed out. So, I think that is where your confusion is occurring. If I'm wrong, I apologize, but I believe this is correct. So again, I don't know any people who oppose abortion that are also against bc. It's about prevention (bc) vs. destruction (RU486).

gagirl40
113
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gagirl40 02/08/08 - 02:31 pm
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Howcanweknow, I'm not talking

Howcanweknow, I'm not talking about RU486..I'm talking about the birth control pill. "A woman taking the Pill does not usually release eggs. But occasionally she might - and it is possible that egg could be fertilized. The hormonal conditions created by the Pill mean, if that happened, the fertilized egg would not be implanted or survive. It's called a chemical abortion. Dr Cynthia Jones-Nosacek, Family doctor, Mainstream medicine does not define that as a pregnancy. But some of those strictly against abortion do. Dr Cynthia Jones-Nosacek - a family doctor in Milwaukee - now refuses to prescribe the Pill. She opposes it on moral grounds, arguing it is a form of abortion. "The contraceptive pill doesn't always prevent ovulation. As often as 30% of the time, ovulation may occur and if that happens, fertilization may occur," Dr Jones-Nosacek says. This year 12 states took steps to try to introduce so-called conscience clauses. They allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense drugs, including the birth control pill, on moral grounds, without losing their jobs. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3652462.stm

Republicant
3
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Republicant 02/08/08 - 02:32 pm
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Problem is the Catholic

Problem is the Catholic Church, especially in s. america has so much control, many countries do not have sex ed. in the schools and no access to condoms.

gagirl40
113
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gagirl40 02/08/08 - 02:49 pm
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That's true here too

That's true here too Republicant...the Presidents "Abstinence Only" school sex education programs aren't educating anyone about sex.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 02/08/08 - 03:19 pm
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Well, the standard line was

Well, the standard line was that combination pills of estrogen and progesterone were a good 99% effective as contraceptives primarily because they prevent ovulation (by acting on the pituitary and the brain), and the progesterone also can form somewhat of a barrier protection as well. I'm not familiar with this concept that ovulation can still occur 30% of the time even with the pill. But, I don't doubt your words.

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