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VICTOR JOECKS: Democrats want partial-birth abortion to be a constitutional right

If Nevada Democrats get their way, partial-birth abortion will become a state constitutional right.

On Thursday, Democrats held a joint hearing of the Senate and Assembly Legislative Operations and Elections committees. They heard testimony on Senate Joint Resolution 7, which would make abortion a constitutional right. The state would have the ability to regulate abortions once a pre-born baby is viable outside the womb without “extraordinary medical measures.” But even that meager protection for the unborn must be cast aside to protect the mental health of the mother. In practice, that loophole is so broad that it would permit abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, including partial-birth abortion.

Abortion advocates often rely on euphemisms. Abortion is termed a “choice” or a “right” or a “matter of bodily autonomy.” That’s because it’s a lot harder to support ending the life of a preborn baby when you have to describe the details of the gruesome procedure. That’s especially true for partial-birth abortion, which is used to murder preborn babies who are 20 weeks along or older. Some abortionists have even performed it during the ninth month of pregnancy.

In 1995, Brenda Pratt Shafer a registered nurse from Dayton, Ohio, provided congressional testimony detailing this procedure. The baby she describes here is a boy who was 26 weeks along.

“The baby was alive and moving as the abortionist delivered the baby’s body and the arms —everything but the head,” the congressional record reads. “The doctor kept the baby’s head just inside the uterus. The baby’s little fingers were clasping and unclasping, and his feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors through the back of his head, and the baby’s arms jerked out in a flinch, a startle reaction, like a baby does when he thinks that he might fall. The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening and sucked the baby’s brains out. Now the baby was completely limp.”

That is indefensible. That baby was alive until the abortionists murdered him by sticking scissors into his skull and sucking his brains out. Even supporters of first-trimester abortion should be sickened by this.

Yet, that is what Democrats seek to enshrine in Nevada’s constitution. There’s little doubt this will pass. A majority of senators and assembly members are co-sponsoring it. Constitutional amendments need to pass in two legislative sessions and then be approved by voters.

What’s uncertain is how Republicans will react. After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Nevada Democrats made abortion a campaign issue. Nevada’s abortion law can’t be changed without a popular vote. GOP candidates generally ran away from the issue.

Nevada is far from Alabama on social issues, but the election results make it obvious avoidance didn’t work for Republicans. While most Nevadans sadly support legalized abortion, polling suggests that support doesn’t include late-term abortions. Fewer than 30 percent of Americans believe abortion should be generally legal at 24 weeks of pregnancy.

With this constitutional amendment, that’s what Democrats are proposing. Don’t expect Democrats to frame it that way, but Republicans should. If not for the sake of defending preborn children, then for their own political self-interest.

Contact Victor Joecks at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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