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Abortion issue back in forefront of politics and court case

Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 9:12 am

General Manager/Editor Ron Schott

The abortion issue was put back in the national spotlight last week after two separate stories made the issue a water cooler topic once again.
GOP candidate Rick Santorum has faced the heat since taking a strong stance against President Barack Obama’s health care plan which mandates insurance companies to cover the cost of prenatal testing, mainly amniocentesis.
This picked up national steam as Santorum appeared on the CBS show “Face the Nation,” hosted by Bob Schieffer. You can see the interview between the presidential candidate and Schieffer, a close friend of Vandalia’s Bob Moore, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvADN3p83tg.
Santorum, who is the leading GOP challenger by seven percentage points in recent national polls over Mitt Romney, said he didn’t think the test should be mandated as he says it’s primarily used by doctors to encourage parents towards an abortion decision when the test provides “negative results.”
Results of the tests might show parents that their child has some sort of a chromosomal abnormality or fetal infection. These tests could help detect down syndrome, Trisomy 13 and 18, Fragile X, neural tube defects, prediction of lung maturity, and more. Santorum’s belief is that many parents given this news might then be encouraged by doctors to get an abortion and this is why he doesn’t believe insurance companies should be mandated to cover the cost of the test.
While Santorum might be right on many issues he fights for, I personally think this is one battle he will lose at the end of the day.
The amniocentesis has been a test proven to be beneficial to parents who have been willing to take on the risk of a possible miscarriage or other complications to take it.
Through the years, doctors have been able to battle things head on due to what they’ve learned through the test. In my own family, prenatal testing helped a surgical team be poised for action the day one baby was born that had a bladder on the outside of his body. The advanced knowledge of the condition helped save his life.
No doubt this is a dangerous test. In fact, reports show 1 in 200 up to 1 in 1,600 tests could result in pre-term labor and delivery, respiratory distress, etc.
But this is not a mandatory test. My wife and I opted away from it on both of our children as all previous testing showed things to be okay and we were ready to be blessed with whatever situation God was going to put in our hands.
While I know Santorum is standing on this issue due to what he feels might lead to abortions, I think his fight needs to be directed on the abortion issue itself in regards to Roe v. Wade.
The other national story on abortion broke this past Monday as an Alabama Supreme Court justice used a wrongful death ruling to recommend abandoning the Roe argument.
The ruling came after a case involving a woman who sued her doctors for wrongful death when her baby died in the womb while only three months in gestation.
Judge Thomas Parker noted that 38 states have enacted fetal homicide statutes with 28 of them protecting life from conception. He went on to say that Roe’s statement that unborn children are not “persons” within the meaning of the 14th Amendment is irrelevant to the question whether unborn children are “persons” under state law.
It was also noted in the report that medial breakthroughs have helped prove life starts at conception and shows Roe v. Wade needs to be revisited.
It is this sort of battle Santorum needs to take the mantle on and not lose votes in fighting prenatal testing.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.