ABORTION DEBATE: Congressional Acts Anger Senator Campbell
"The abortion issue separates Americans of good will" and "efforts continue ... [to be] put forward to attempt to divide our country," California state Sen. Tom Campbell (R) writes in a San Francisco Chronicle op-ed. Campbell asserts that these "traps" are the "partial-birth" abortion issue -- currently being debated in the U.S. Senate, and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, recently passed by the U.S. House. With respect to partial-birth abortion, Campbell argues that it is the state's responsibility to determine "how late in a term an abortion may be performed," not counting the first three months which are protected by the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade. He writes that abortion "can, and should, be handled by the states."
A Second Trap
"Once again, there is absolutely no need for" the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, Campbell asserts. He writes that "any assault that would qualify for the new law because of harm done to the unborn child would already qualify by reason of the attack on the woman carrying the child." The bill's language describes "'unborn child'" as "'a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb." Campbell concludes that this definition "establish[es] as a matter of federal law that personhood begins at conception." That "might be a completely honest religious belief of this statute's authors, but they have no right to impose this religious view upon others through federal criminal law" (Campbell, 10/19).