MaryAnna Anokam, Phylicia Hunter, and Tratesha Riddick

Due date: Friday, February 13, 2009

African American Experience 140.08

Ms. Donela Wright

Partial-Birth Abortion Awareness


Our problem we are attempting to solve is partial-birth abortions. Partial-birth abortions are when babies are almost or partially born, but then are terminated for a form of abortion. This drastic procedure is generally performed during the last trimester until the end of ninth month. These abortions are operated when the child is a baby not a fetus or an embryo. Some may take this as murder. The mother’s cervix is dilated and the person who is accomplishing this abortion pulls the baby out through the birth canal by its legs with forceps. The abortionist then conveys the child’s body out with its feet first. Everything except for the babies head is out of the birth canal. Next, the doctor inserts a sharp object into the back of the baby’s head, takes it out then inserts a vacuum tube in the insertion and then brains are sucked out. The cranium of the child collapses at this moment and the baby is now delivered lifeless. This abortion act affects not only African American communities, but everyone as a whole. In the year of 2003, six hundred thousand six hundred forty-six abortions were performed. Out of that number, two hundred fifteen thousand fifty-one were performed on African American women.

Partial-birth abortion is performed by a lot of people some people agree with it and others find it as a huge problem. Those who support it believe that if the baby is going to end up being sick or have some type of defect than it does not need to leave. The baby will save the mother hassle from its detriments. Others will see this form of abortion as a murder and will not tolerate such a medical act. Fifteen-year old Donna Joy almost was a victim of partial-birth abortion. Donna Joy Vance had brain discrepancies and the doctor did not believe that she would come out alive so they suggested partial-birth abortion. Lori Vance, Donna’s mother, did not want to go through with this murder. The hospital did not want to deliver the baby, but Lori Vance threatened a lawsuit and then Donna was delivered. Vance joined to support the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in 1997.

The name of the activist the inspired our topic is Courtney Leigh Hoelen. Her methods are to get the teenagers where they are the most by communicating with them on Facebook. She created a cause that will allow her to recruit people to educate others about the abortion and to get them active. With this cause you are allowed to recruit others as you were recruited and you can help raise money for the cause. She also just created a group that is titled “The Red Envelope” which is triggered towards the president. What is asked of you is to buy and/or make a red envelope, put the address to the President on there and you leave a message on the back saying: “This envelope represents one child who died in abortion. It is empty because that life was unable to offer anything to the world. Responsibility begins with conception.”

Partial-birth abortion seems like a tough task to attack, but it can be done. People have already been on the run to dismiss this tragedy. The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was enacted November 5, 2003. Our group feels if we get the word around to students on campus and campus organizations that it will better enhance our chances to letting our new president know how many people are affected by this inhumane procedure of killing babies for the sake of the mothers. An on-campus organization that can go about starting this is TELOCA. TELOCA is a nursing organization on our very own campus. By bringing this organization in, it will show that this practice of activism is school supported. With these organizations they will support to perform the “Red Envelope” act. On the other hand, with the students our groups are going to try to get this issue known and then put out donations for stamps. May it be a penny to a dollar; anyone can donate to raise money to mail these red envelopes to the president. Another way we are going to attempt to attack this problem from the beginning is to join with group 5 to speak to a high school about pregnancy and abortion; this includes partial-birth abortion. We want to let these high school students who are sexually active or plan to be sexually active know about the risks of getting pregnant and why abortion should not be a result, more so partial-birth abortion should not be a result to their mistakes. Hopefully their mistakes can be corrected or influenced for either current or further knowledge.

Annotated Bibliography

Charo, R. Alta. The Partial Death of Abortion Rights . 356 vols. Boston : US: Massachusetts Society, 2007.



On April 18, 2007, the Supreme Court signaled a significant change in abortion jurisprudence. Partial-birth abortion was said too be constitutional although many members of the medical community disagreed. They believed that the procedure should only be done if the mother or child’s life was in jeopardy and it was the safest option for terminating a pregnancy. Congress passed two statutes banning dilation and extraction (D&X) procedures in the 1990s and another in 2003 that added language to define the prohibited acts more specifically. Supporters of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 argued that a health exception would most likely be interpreted so broadly by doctors that it would render the legislation meaningless. They were still finding any way possible too work around the law.


Dresser, Rebecca. Protecting Women from Their Abortion Choices . 31, Iss. 6; pg. 13, 3 pgs. Hastings-on-Hudson , 2007.

In its 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed Roe v. Wade's basic holding. According to Casey, pregnant women have a constitutional right to choose abortion before the fetus is viable, and the state may not create substantial obstacles to a woman's exercise of that right. In Gonzales v. Carhart, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, a federal law punishing physicians who intentionally perform an abortion procedure known as intact dilation and evacuation. The case raises a host of questions about the constitutional status of abortion.

Boop, J Jr.. Partial-birth abortion: The final frontier of abortion jurisprudence . 125 vols. Issues Law Med, 1998.


Partial-birth abortion bans patterned after the federal bill passed by both houses of Congress are constitutional. The clear legislative definition can be easily distinguished from other abortion procedures. Abortion precedents do not apply to such bans because the abortion right pertains to unborn human beings, not to those partially delivered. Such bans are also rationally-related to legitimate state interests. This article basically explains that even if abortion jurisprudence is deemed to apply in the partial-birth abortion context, a ban is still constitutional under Casey because a ban on partial-birth abortions does not impose an undue burden on the abortion right.


Calhoun, Perinatal hospice: A response to partial birth abortion . 125 vols. Issues Law Med, 1997.


This article discusses decisions involving whether to terminate late-term pregnancies when fetal anomalies have been detected. Partial-birth abortion performed on fetuses with chromosomal abnormalities, while performed under the guise of reducing suffering, threatens the best interests of the mother and infant. An alternative for parents faced with the decision to terminate their pregnancy is perinatal hospice.


Weitz, Tracy A; Yanow, Susan | Reproductive health matters, 2008 May, 16(31 Suppl):99-107


This article explains how the decision of the federal abortion ban undermines decades of established US abortion law that had recognized the preservation of the health of women as a paramount consideration. The Ban asserts that the state's interests in how an abortion is performed and in fetal life override women's rights.


Hoelen, Courtney. "Partial Birth Abortion Awareness." . 09 Feb 2009. Life International Inc. 12 Feb 2009 <>.


This source is where the topic for our group project all began. It opened our eyes to the kind of abortions that are taking place behind closed doors and killing babies everyday. It has videos that are available to watch so that you can understand and see how this type of abortion received its’ name. This source also shows you that people from all over the world cares and it is user friendly so that you can have access to everything that is posted on this particular page.


Hoelen, Courtney. "Red Envelope Campaign." . 09 Feb 2009. Life International Inc. 12 Feb 2009 <>.


The above source was helpful in explaining how we were going to make a

lasting impression on the president about how we all feel about partial-birth abortions. What better way then to send him a mass amount of mail about the outcome of abortions. He will get the message with the more people that join the cause, invite more people to join in and if they all participate.


Strauss, Lilo. "Abortion Surveillance --- United States , 2003." . 24 Nov 2006. Department of Health and Human Services. 12 Feb 2009 <>.


This source was very helpful because it supplied us with background information on the partial birth abortions. Also it explained the legal measures that are going to be taken in order for this type of abortions to be out to an end. And, it gave us statistics on the total amount of abortins that are being performed yearly and the portion of them that are African American and other ethnicities.




Townsend, Linz . "Mother Refused Partial-Birth Abortion “God Still Has Work for Her to Do”." Natioal Right to Life News vol. 34(2007)


The source that I am explaining blessed us with a real-life example of people affected by partial birth abortions. This lady was ready to get the abortion done and then she changed her mind. She is the mirror image of people that were put on this Earth to save lives of people that they have not met before or saving the lives of their children.



Ludlow, Jeannie . "Sometimes, It’s a Child and a Choice: Toward an Embodied Abortion Praxis." NWSA Journal vol. 1(2008)


This source explained why a mother that didn’t necessarily want to have an abortion, undergo one anyway. She simply didn’t have enough money to financially support bringing a baby into this world. She had to save up money for a few months in order to be able to pay for the abortion. She would have liked to have had her baby, which god blessed her with but she made a smart decision y not doing so and putting the baby in a bad situation from the time that it was brought into this place that we call home.