President Bush has signed a law which limits abortion in the United States.
The legislation will make
illegal abortions usually performed late in a pregnancy, which
involve the partial delivery of the foetus before it's killed.
Conservatives regard it as a major victory; women's groups and civil
rights organisations have already begun challenging the new law as
Is President Bush right to ban "partial birth" abortion?
This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.
The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:
Was this another private conversation between George W. Bush and God?
If we are free to vote and choose our elected official sometimes, a woman should and must have the right to choose whether she wants a child or not.
Mike Larian, USA
I'm a woman and I understand that this late term abortion is one of the most cruel ways of destroying a life. Thank God we have a president with enough integrity and grit to sign this bill.
B. Prior, USA
It seems to me that it dose not matter if you are pro-life or pro-choice, the government has no right to tell you can or can not do such a thing. It is a very sensitive issue and needs to be made by the ones who are faced with it and not some old rich guy who has never seen really life-changing problems like abortion or a family member raped.
Mr. Duke, USA
I think it is good Bush has passed these laws as abortion is wrong and i would like to see the UK revert to making it illegal. So what if its the woman's choice, its murder, and it is good that bush is bringing his religion into politics, as the Middle East states have tortured non Muslims for ages and no one has intervened as they have oil
If you take away a persons right to choose, you have become a totalitarian government. Simple. Although I am curious as to why, if a woman wishes to have an abortion, she did not make that choice sooner; the second and third trimesters are late stages in a birth process. I disagree with many of President Bush's views because I dislike the way he frequently brings his religion into his governing of the country, however, I wonder if there are bigger issues afoot.
Richard, US (formerly UK)
Absolutely not! Pro-choice is the right way to go. The President has taken onto himself to decide what is good for women even at their cost. Banning abortions is not going to stop most women from getting one. This is just going to give rise to more quacks in back alleys.
Whatever your views on abortion, this is a step along the road to restricting freedom and choice. Bush's religious views have no place in politics.
Bush is doing what his ultra conservative members of his party want him to do. The decision to have an abortion must be made by the individual people concerned and basically the right of women to have control over their bodies. It is not for the government or some religious groups to decide. One can only hope, that the women organisations in the US would stand united against this attack on their right to choose!
Srinivausan Toft, Denmark
It is highly misleading to state the question as referring to "a law which limits abortion". Fact is that the abortions covered by this law are at such a late stage that they would be illegal in any country in Europe unless there were very good medical reasons. An unborn child of 6 months could survive if born then. Unless there are very powerful medical reasons which could not have come to light at an earlier stage of the pregnancy, I find this way of terminating a pregnancy repugnant
The decision to proceed with an abortion belongs to the mother, and where appropriate, the father of the unborn child. It is none of the President's business. His business it supposed to be about providing choices, and providing the means for choices to be safely carried out. George W Bush is a fundamentalist. Doesn't matter what stripe, all fundamentalism is evil, and counts for most of the bigotry in the world.
Helen M, Australia
I appreciate pro-abortion women's genuine concern for women's health and rights, but we cannot ignore the truth of what is actually being done. Women's rights are no justification for the brutality inflicted on the most vulnerable people in the world. Why is it that amongst all this talk about abortion, a visual demonstration of the actual act is absent?
So on the one hand the Bush admin restricts abortions and on the other hand they fully support the death penalty? How hypocritical.
I really admire Bush in this endeavour with this. Although people who despise this action of his are never going to understand as at this time people do not want to take responsibility for their actions. This law will really make one think twice before making a decision. Long live Bush and cheers to his earnest endeavours in instilling human values
It is not for him to take away the freedom of choice from women. Sometimes it is not ethical to have a baby, for the child's sake.
Abortion is not a good thing. Unfortunately, however, it is necessary. The way to stop abortion is not to forbid it, but to make it unnecessary: Stop rape and incest; make birth control completely effective and easily available; educate people - particularly teens - re protection and abstinence. Make abortion unnecessary, not unavailable.
No way. This bill does not take the women's or children's health into account. It is just the beginning of Bush establishing a sexist society and removing a woman's right to choose. The rich will leave the country to have an abortion and the poor will take it upon themselves. I am sick of the ignorance and arrogance and abstract vision of the Bush admin.
The President is right on this one. Roe vs Wade provided for abortions in the first trimester, and there is no health risk that this procedure addresses that could not just as effectively be addressed by C section. This isn't a case of curtailing abortion rights, but of preventing "abortion rights" from being needlessly expanded into the timeframe where the unborn child has become viable.
Daniel Hilliard, Houston, USA
I cannot believe I now find myself agreeing with George Bush, but on this issue I do. I accept abortion is always a dreadful dilemma for all concerned and accept we need to have legal access to terminations at early stages in the birth cycle, but to deliver an alive human being and then kill it or allow it to die is purely and simply murder.
It matters not whether you are pro or anti abortion at any stage, the simple fact is that the US President is strongly anti. The Supreme Court is becoming more anti, and soon abortion rights in the US will be severely eroded. I see more girls ending up in backstreet abortion 'shops' just like they did in the 1960's. This is a serious issue for every woman in that one man can at a stroke have ultimate power over their lives and their bodies.
Ruth, UK (ex US)
I find this exceptionally worrying. No matter what your own moral standpoint is regarding abortion, I believe that the state does not have the right to make these decisions for women and couples faced with an unwanted pregnancy. I believe people need to make these choices for themselves guided by their own circumstances and morality.
Jackie Closs, Scotland
Where contraception is widely and easily available, the continuing high rate of abortions is surprising. Surely only victims of rape and very young girls can be excused from failing to protect themselves from unplanned pregnancy. Whilst accepting that abortions are here to stay, this particular method for late abortions is very hard to stomach.
I disagree with the new law as it takes away the choice of pregnant women to have a late abortion. I'm sure that this will also increase the number of "back street abortions" as well.
Not being an expert, the term "partial birth" sounds horrific. But making something illegal rarely solves a problem, it usually just exports it somewhere else.
It would be fine if resources were put into sex education to help reduce the number of teenage and unwanted pregnancies, but I doubt that will happen. I have never understood why the anti-choice lobby seem to value quantity of life over quality of life and almost always believe in the death sentence too.