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I truly had to shake my head at this one. The woman who wants to be Attorney General of the US said in a Supreme Court brief that a “living fetus” was too vague to be understood and followed by those who are supposed to follow and enforce the ban on partial birth abortion. Yes, you read that right, “living” is too vague. I can’t even…

So here’s a quick primer for you, Loretta, living means that unborn baby has a heartbeat. Not living means no heartbeat. Pretty simple. Almost 20 years ago my doctor had a pretty good grip on living versus dead when I lost my first daughter at 18 weeks pregnant. At 17 weeks there was a heartbeat. Sometime by 18 weeks and a sonogram, there wasn’t. To say otherwise is a slap in the face to intelligent doctors and mothers who have lost unborn children everywhere.

So here’s where this insane opinion came from. Lynch joined several U.S. Attorneys in signing an amicus brief presented to the Supreme Court in 2006 in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart. The brief argued that the federal ban on partial-birth abortion was unconstitutional because its language was too vague. They got more specific. They argued that the term “living fetus” was too vague to be understood by those responsible for following and enforcing the law.

That “vague” definition? The law defined a partial-birth abortion as follows:

(1) the term partial-birth abortion means an abortion in which the person performing the abortion (A) deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother, for the purpose of performing an overt act that the person knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus; and (B) performs the overt act, other than completion of delivery, that kills the partially delivered living fetus.

Pretty clear to me. If you can hear or see a heartbeat on the monitor, and they always put mothers delivering for whatever reason on a monitor, it’s ALIVE!

Lynch’s brief said:

Furthermore, the Ban’s specific provisions, such as the phrase “living fetus,” are hopelessly vague as a legal proscription. Planned Parenthood Fed’n of Am. v. Ashcroft, 320 F. Supp. 2d at 1183-84. As many courts have recognized in considering similar language, “reasonable physicians differ as to the meaning of what is ‘living.’ ” Planned Parenthood of S. Ariz. v. Woods, 982 F. Supp. 1369, 1379 (D. Ariz. 1997).

Well, of course Planned Parenthood would find it vague. Clarity hurts their chances of providing abortions up to the point of delivery of a healthy, full term baby!

Fortunately, the Supreme Court rejected the argument that the language in the Partial Birth Abortion Ban was too vague. Writing for the court, Justice Anthony Kennedy said: “The act is not vague” and quoted a doctor’s clinical description of a partial-birth abortion. He also quoted a nurse’s description of a partial-birth abortion which the nurse witnessed. The nurse’s description–as quoted in the Supreme Court opinion–said:

Dr. Haskell went in with forceps and grabbed the baby’s legs and pulled them down into the birth canal. Then he delivered the baby’s body and the arms–everything but the head. The doctor kept the head right inside the uterus. …

The baby’s little fingers were clasping and unclasping, and his little feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors in the back of his head, and the baby’s arms jerked out, like a startle reaction, like a flinch, like a baby does when he thinks he is going to 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 went completely limp. …

He cut the umbilical cord and delivered the placenta. He threw the baby in a pan, along with the placenta and the instruments he had just used.

Not sure what is so “vague” about that. And this is the woman who wants to be in charge of the DOJ…

By the way, anyone who is in support of what that nurse described is sick, twisted and shouldn’t be in ANY position of power ANYWHERE!


Suzanne Olden

Suzanne Reisig Olden is a Catholic Christian, Conservative, married mother of two, who loves God, family and country in that order. She lives northwest of Baltimore, in Carroll County, Maryland. She graduated from Villa Julie College/Stevenson University with a BS in Paralegal Studies and works as a paralegal for a franchise company, specializing in franchise law and intellectual property. Originally from Baltimore, and after many moves, she came home to raise her son and daughter, now high school and college aged, in her home state. Suzanne also writes for The Firebreathing Conservative website ( and hopes you'll come visit there as well for even more discussion of conservative issues.