When politicians interfere in health care…

Oh boy, the “partial birth abortion ban” people have moved into the Minnesota legislature, and are trying to ban abortion by inventing fictitious medical procedures and lying about them. Here’s Bill Lieske, a newly installed Republican legislator, trying to make his mark by being a dumbass.

We have born-alive individuals, and we must protect the born-alive. In this case, a partial birth abortion, the child is, in part, born alive.

The women on the committee who spoke out against the nonsensical amendment Lieske proposed were exactly right: politicians should not be practicing health care. They also point out that the amendment is about a non-existent medical procedure — it’s just grandstanding by a baby conservative.

The term “partial birth” is a misnomer.

But “partial-birth” is not a medical term. It’s a political one, and a highly confusing one at that, with both sides disagreeing even on how many procedures take place, at what point in pregnancy, and exactly which procedures the law actually bans.

The confusion is the point. They want you to think all abortions are about murdering babies, when they’re actually about saving the lives of women. All you have to do is look at the source of the term.

The term was first coined by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) in 1995 to describe a recently introduced medical procedure to remove fetuses from the womb. Alternately known as “dilation and extraction,” or D&X, and “intact D&E,” it involves removing the fetus intact by dilating a pregnant woman’s cervix, then pulling the entire body out through the birth canal.

There’s a reason for this procedure, and it’s entirely about minimizing harm to the woman. That’s not a factor in Republican thinking.

The further along a pregnancy is, the more complicated — and the more controversial — the procedures are for aborting it. Abortions performed after the 20th week of pregnancy typically require that the fetus be dismembered inside the womb so it can be removed without damaging the pregnant woman’s cervix. Some gynecologists consider such methods, known as “dilation and evacuation,” less than ideal because they can involve substantial blood loss and may increase the risk of lacerating the cervix, potentially undermining the woman’s ability to bear children in the future.

Two abortion physicians, one in Ohio and one in California, independently developed variations on the method by extracting the fetus intact. The Ohio physician, Martin Haskell, called his method “dilation and extraction,” or D&X. It involved dilating the woman’s cervix, then pulling the fetus through it feet first until only the head remained inside. Using scissors or another sharp instrument, the head was then punctured, and the skull compressed, so it, too, could fit through the dilated cervix.

Haskell has said that he devised his D&X procedure because he wanted to find a way to perform second-trimester abortions without an overnight hospital stay, because local hospitals did not permit most abortions after 18 weeks.

Now Lieske is probably going to defend his meddling in women’s health by claiming that he is a doctor. After all, all of his campaign ads announced that he was “Dr. Bill Lieske” over and over. What he doesn’t emphasize is…

He’s a chiropractor.

Also, he has an ugly haircut.


  1. Akira MacKenzie says

    He’s a chiropractor.

    However, thanks to our freedom-loving, capitalist society allowing these quacks to operate for generations, most people won’t make that distinction.

  2. Sphinx of Black Quartz says

    it’s entirely about minimizing harm to the woman. That’s not a factor in Republican thinking.

    Oh, but it is. Protecting women is part of why Republicans hate D&Xs, and reproductive health care in general. Republican opposition to abortion has a tangle of causes, but one of the biggest is bilious anger at women’s rights advances in the 1960s and 1970s. Punishing women is frequently the point, and even when it’s not, it’s an added bonus.

  3. raven says

    Bans on Specific Abortion Methods Used After the First Trimeste r https://www.guttmacher.org › state-policy › explore › b…

    21 states ban the provision of “partial-birth” abortion. … All 20 state laws include some sort of exception. 3 states have bans that include a health exception.

    So called partial births are already banned in 20 states.Wikipedia:

    As a result, at least 27 States banned the procedure as did the United States Congress which voted to ban the procedure during the 104th, 105th, and 106th Congresses.Wikipedia says it is 27 states.

    It is also banned at the Federal level.
    Wikipedia: On November 5, 2003, after being passed by both the House and the Senate, the bill was signed by President George W. Bush to become law.
    On April 18, 2007, the Supreme Court in a 5–4 decision, Gonzales v. Carhart, held that the statute does not violate the Constitution.

    There is already a Federal ban on this procedure.
    It would seem that Minnesota passing such a law would be redundant.

  4. raven says

    The dilation and evacuation procedure is uncommon.
    In 2000 it was estimated to be 0.17% of all abortions or around 2,000 a year in the USA.
    It is a lot lower now for many reasons.

    There is a way around the law, which is a political law, not a medical one. If you kill the fetus in utero, it isn’t alive.
    This is done by injection through the cervix or abdominal wall.
    It makes the procedure a lot more complicated and raises the risk level for no good reason.
    Doctors do it anyway to keep from getting arrested.

    Wikipedia: Clinical response

    In response to this statute, many abortion providers have adopted the practice of inducing fetal demise before beginning late-term abortions. Typically, a solution of potassium chloride or digoxin is injected directly into the fetal heart using ultrasound to guide the needle.[30][31] This is often done by providers who do not perform intact dilation and extraction procedures (as well as by those who do) because they feel the broad wording of the ban compels them “to do all they can to protect themselves and their staff from the possibility of being accused”.[32]


    D&E Abortion Bans: The Implications of Banning the Most Common Second-Trimester Procedure
    Megan K. Donovan, Guttmacher Institute 2017

    One potential modification to the procedure would require women to undergo an additional, invasive step before a D&E to induce fetal demise, such as an injection through the woman’s abdomen or cervix. Although some providers take this step when they believe it will make an abortion easier to perform in a specific case or when a patient requests it, leading authorities such as ACOG and the Society of Family Planning have concluded that the available evidence does not support induction of fetal demise as a general practice to increase patient safety.5,9

  5. AstrySol says

    Saying a child is “in part” “born alive” is the same as saying a brain dead person with multiple organ failures is “in part” still living because some of their organs may still be functional at that time.

    So basically they don’t know how human beings work.

  6. Rich Woods says

    @dbinmn #7:

    They swear on a stack of undetectable subluxated vertebrae, or a similar magical object.

  7. says

    I would rather allow doctors to govern over allowing xtian terrorist, rtwing politician imbeciles regulate healthcare and practice medicine.