Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Partial Birth Abortion Ban Upheld!!!!! [Jay]

I assume that everyone will be posting their thought on this, but I wanted to make certain that we acknowledged this here.

I know it is one procedure, but look at the slippery slope that we can start moving down. For the first time our nation has said that it is wrong to perform a certain action against the unborn. It is wrong, therefore we don't do that.

Little by little we will win.


  1. "For the first time our nation has said that it is wrong to perform a certain action against the unborn. It is wrong, therefore we don't do that."

    Unfortunately, "the nation" doesn't entirely agree. This news was posted this morning on a swing dancers' forum in which I take part. I'm astounded by the number of people who are upset by the ban!

    We're not talking an abortion-debate board - just average students/young adults in their twenties, thirties, and early forties. Most of them upset by anything that would erode or take away any aspect of "choice" and not allow exceptions for "women's health" or "fetal disability".

    To me, it's a no-brainer (litterally). If we're to give the choice to parents of a 21 week nearly-born infant to puncture their child's skull and suck out his brain, why not take the extra step and allow parents to hit their newborns over the head with a sledgehammer?

    But oddly enough, I'm the odd one out in my crowd. (!)

    We may have won this battle, but the war is still raging quite strong. We've got a looong way to go folks. Very long.

  2. How do we answer these claims “Ginsburg said the latest decision "tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists." And “Abortion rights groups as well as the leading association of obstetricians and gynecologists have said the procedure sometimes is the safest for a woman.” Thanks for the information (LTI is doing Incredible work).

  3. Kristine,

    By nation I did not mean the unanimous agreement of the citizens, but the majority of the people and all three branches of our government have upheld the ban on a practice against the unborn because of the expressed immorality of the procedure. This is a large victory in the language and implications. There is a long way to go to be sure, but this should energize us.

    As to Kyl's questions concerning the medical procedures. Perhaps this will coax Serge out, as he is best qualified to address that issue from the medical POV.

  4. I'd momentarily forgotten we have Serge to answer medical questions. This is mine: Is this law even plausibly enforceable? I'm thinking here of the "deliberately and intentionally" language added to the federal bill. If I understand correctly, an abortionist who began to try to dismember a child in the same way that one begins a PBA (by turning the child into the breach position and bringing a leg down) could then _legally_ perform a PBA if the child slipped out alive to the extent specified in the PBA statute. The claim would be that he "had to" perform a PBA because the child was "accidentally" delivered alive that far.

    Now, why could they not just continue with business as usual performing PBA's and always say they were trying to perform dismemberment abortions? I don't see how it would even be possible to prosecute, as the statute requires intent. Not only does the abortionist never have to admit intent, but it's not all that implausible that the child should thus be accidentally partially born alive.

  5. Lydia,

    I believe your point has significant merit, although I doubt that a physician would routinely plan on "accidentally" delivering a child up to the head in order to continue to perform PBAs. I would assume most would modify their procedure at least enough to fly under the radar.

    Your comment brings up a few more important issues. Although I am very pleased that the SC upheld this law, practically it will little effect on the number of intrinsically valuable human beings that are being intentionally killed. We can jump for joy all we want that children aren't being partially born and having their brains evacuated - but the fact that the same child can be dismembered six inches away or that the she can be injected with KaCl and then delivered dead (which is Tiller's preferred technique) modifies my joy significantly.

  6. My joy, like Serge's, is modified! Let's put on our body armour. The fight is going to get even nastier from here.

  7. Serge, you're no doubt right. I've thought often about Tiller over the last few days and the heart injection. He more or less just changed his methods already so this doesn't affect him. I do feel that Roe is not in any way threatened by this recent ruling. I wish I were wrong.

  8. What does anybody think about the fact that Alito and Roberts did not join the brief concurrence by Thomas and Scalia? (In that concurrence T & S made it clear that they don't accept any implication someone might draw from the majority opinion, written by Kennedy, to the effect that the Constitution protects a right to an abortion.) Does that say anything to the effect that Alito and Roberts, unlike Thomas and Scalia, are _not_ willing to overturn Roe? Or is it equally plausible that they're just playing close to the vest and not saying more than they need to say at any given time?

  9. Serge & Lydia,

    There were two possible outcomes of this challenge. One,the Supreme Court rules that no procedure could ever be so vile that the states have an interest in protecting the unborn against it by infringing on the rights of the the mother and her doctor making decisions about her reproductive rights. The other is the one that we got.

    It may only be a shift in momentum, but it could begin to change the way we evaluate abortion legally in weighing the morality of our actions versus the benefit or risk to women and their right to privacy. One case at a time. The recent legal precedent is no longer totally against us. It is not the victory that we dream of, but it is a victory none the less. I do think it is OK to celebrate this. We also must stay on message and push harder. The goal may only be one step closer, but it is one step in the right direction and it is real.


  10. Lydia,

    Given Alito's past involvement in suggesting incremental legislation to change the culture of abortion in the US, I give him the benefit of the doubt that he is playing it close to the vest. Neither Alito nor Roberts seem interested in mixing it up over this issue in the same manner that Scalia does. Thomas has never asked questions from the bench and always expresses his opinions on paper. Maybe it is just their judicial personality. Despite all of the "litmus test" objections that turn my stomach as much as yours, they do seem to be consistently pro-life thus far. Perhaps they do not want to ruffle Kennedy. I am glad he voted in the manner that he did, but he can be slightly erratic and bases his decisions on some legal stretches when he feels like going one way or another.



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