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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Partial Birth Abortion Ban UPHELD

From what I can see on memeorandum, this is a very hot issue and I can understand why.

I did a piece on Partial Birth Abortions back on November 9, 2006 and my thoughts on the subject were stated there. I will show an excerpt:

One of the reasons I used to be a Democrat was I always believed in a womens right to choose. Although personally I found the idea of abortion sickening, I never felt I had the right to force my values on another individual. I always believed the decision shoud have been made within the first three months, before a baby had a heartbeat. In my mind, once that little tiny heart was beating, that baby was alive. Many disagree and that is their right. I can understand people who believe the second a child is conceived they are alive and I can respect their opinion on that. This is not a discussion and abortion or no abortion. THIS post is about late term abortion / partial birth abortion.

That statement still stands today for me.

Before I get into the reactions from around the blogosphere, let me show you todays ruling.


Court upholds federal abortion ban

Posted by Lyle Denniston at 10:03 AM

Dividing 5-4, the Supreme Court on Wednesday gave a sweeping -- and only barely qualified -- victory to the federal government and to other opponents of abortion, upholding the 2003 law that banned what are often called "partial-birth abortions." The majority insisted it was following its abortion precedents, so none of those was expressly overruled. The dissenters strenuously disputed that the ruling was faithful to those precedents, saying the majority had not concealed its "hostility" to those decisions.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority in the first-ever decision by the Court to uphold a total ban on a specific abortion procedure -- prompting the dissenters to argue that the Court was walking away from the defense of abortion rights that it had made since the original Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 recognized a constitutional right to end pregnancy medically. Roe v. Wade was not overturned by the new ruling, as some filings before the Court had urged.

The Court said that it was upholding the law as written -- that is, its facial language. It said that the lawsuits challenging the law faciallly should not have been allowed in court "in the first instance." The proper way to make a challenge, if an abortion ban is claimed to harm a woman's right to abortion, is through an as-applied claim, Kennedy wrote. His opinion said that courts could consider such claims "in discrete and well-defined instances" where "a condition has or is likely to occur in which the procedure prohibited by the Act must be used."

Kennedy said the Court was assuming that the federal ban would be unconstitutional "if it subjected women to significant health risks." He added, however, that "safe medical options are available...The Act allows...a commonly used and generally accepted method, so it does not construct a substantial obstacle to the abortion right." His opinion noted that the Bush Administration "has acknowledged that pre-enforcement, as-applied challenges to the Act can be maintained."

The majority said it had not "uncritically" deferred to Congress' factual findings in passing the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 -- including its finding that the banned procedure was never medically necessary. "We do not in the circumstances here place dispositive weight on Congress' findings," Kennedy wrote, adding that the Court also was not accepting the Bush Administration argument that the law could be upheld on the basis of those findings alone. He added: "The Court retains an independent constitutional duty to review factual findings where constitutional rights are at stake."

Kennedy insisted -- contrary to the dissenters' angry claim -- that the Court had not abandoned its prior abortion rulings. "The Court's prececedents," he said, "instruct that the Act can survive this facial attack." He said there was "medical disagreement whether the Act's prohibition would ever impose significant health risks on women" -- a prohibition based in significant part on the finding that the procedure was never medically necessary.

But Kennedy said the Act could stand "when medical uncertainty persists...The Court has given state and federal legislatures wide discretion to pass legislation in areas where there is medical and scientific uncertainty." Quoting from a 1974 ruling (Marshall v. U.S.), the opinion said that "When Congress undertakes to act in areas fraught with medical and scientific uncertainties, legislative options must be especially broad."

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, speaking in the courtroom for the dissenters, called the ruling "an alarming decision" that refuses "to take seriously" the Court's 1992 decisions reaffirming most of Roe v. Wade and its 2000 decision in Stenberg v. Carhart striking down a state partial-birth abortion law.

Ginsburg, in a lengthy statement, said "the Court's opinion 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. For the first time since Roe, the Court blesses a prohibition with no exception protecting a woman's health." She said the federal ban "and the Court's defense of it cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court -- and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women's lives. A decision of the character the Court makes today should not have staying power."

That final comment, concluding remarks delivered without an open display of emotion, clearly was a suggestion that the ruling might not survive new appointments to the Court -- just as the arrival of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and, especially, Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. -- had led to the switch she claimed had come about this time. Ginsburg pointedly noted that the Court is "differently imposed that it was when we last considered a restrictive abortion regulation" -- in Stenberg in 2000.

In the course of her dissenting opinion, Ginsburg accused the majority of offering "flimsy and transparent justifications" for upholding the ban. She also denounced the Kennedy opinion for its use of "abortion doctor" to describe specialists who perform gynecological services, "unborn child" and "baby" to describe a fetus, and "preferences" based on "mere convenience" to describe the medical judgments of trained doctors. She also commented: "Ultimately, the Court admits that 'moral concerns' are at work, concerns that cdould yield prohibtions on any abortion."

Joining Kennedy in the majority were the Chief Justice, and Justices Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. With Ginsburg in dissent were Justices Stephen G. Breyer, David H. Souter and John Paul Stevens. Thus, Alito's replacement of retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor made the most difference in turning the Court around from its 2000 decision in the Stenberg case. O'Connor was in the majority in that decision, as were the four dissenters in this new decision.

Since the Chief Justice was in the majority, he assigned the opinion-writing to Kennedy. Interestingly, neither the Chief Justice nor Justice Alito joined a brief separate opinion written by Justice Thomas and joined by Justice Scalia saying that they wanted to reiterate their view "that the Court's abortion jurisprudence...has no basis in the Constitution." That does not necessarily mean they disagree with that view, but perhaps meant only that they did not believe it needed to be said at this point.

The ruling came in the consolidated cases of Gonzales v. Carhart (05-380) and Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood (05-1382).

The 5-4 ruling said the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act that Congress passed and President Bush signed into law in 2003 does not violate a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.

You can download the decision from the ScotusBlog here. (PDF file)

I see that members of the left are already spewing forth nonsense about how this is a ruling against womens rights, but it isn't.

Being a woman, I see it as a ruling not against women, but FOR living babies.

This ruling is not banning abortions, not in any way, shape or form, what it is upholding is a ban on partial birth abortions.

This is partial birth abortion.

That is a baby, a living entity.

(Click above pictures to enlarge)

As you can see from these pictures, this is a baby, alive and kicking and it involves bringing the fetus feet-first into the birth canal, puncturing its skull with a sharp instrument, and sucking out its brain tissue through a catheter.

Another excerpt from my last piece on this:

What kind of monster would take a piece of metal and stick it through a baby's brain stem to murder this child? What kind of woman would allow this to happen to her child? What has this world come to where we will criticize North Korea for killing disabled children at birth, yet we will put THIS on our ballots to vote on?

That question still stands.

Members from the left refuse to separate the two issues, abortion and late term abortion aka partial birth abortion.

90% of women that get abortions do so within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, we are talking about the other 10% here, so please lets not confuse the two issues.

They are and should remain separate.

It is intellectually dishonest to claim that because late term abortions (Partial birth abortions) are banned that womans rights are suffering.

The only right that suffers is the right to take a living being that kicks and sucks its thumb out and suck the brain tissue from their brain to kill them.

These words from Justice Kennedy make complete sense:

"It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice and to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns, only after the event, what she once did not know: that she allowed a doctor to pierce the skull and vacuum the fast-developing brain of her unborn child, a child assuming the human form..."

His words are valid, especially after running through some of the reactions on the left, it is clear that many that write those blogs are men because they seem to have no understanding of the differences between an abortion performed in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and a partial birth abortion.

Unfortunately, as Kennedy pointed out, neither do some women. Then you have women that DO understand the differences between abotion and partial birth abortion and simply do not care. Some seem to feel that it doesn't matter if the baby is alive or not ater 12 weeks or even after 6 months, they feel their rights should trump the rights of an unborn child, even if the child is already displaying a heartbeat, movement and other signs showing it is alive.

Do not let some of the over heated reactions confuse the two issues, women can still have abortions, that has not changed, they just need to make that decision in a timely manner before a fetus actually becomes a baby that is alive.

The only rights that have been harmed here is a womans right to have her doctor murder her child.

Others discussing this:

From the right.
Wizbang, Strata-Sphere, Blue Crab Boulevard, Macsmind, Hot Air, Captain's Quarters.

From the left.
The MahaBlog, Middle Earth Journal, Carpetbagger Report, Think Progress.

Pelosi's statement doesn't surprise me at all, after all, a woman that has no problem playing footsie with murdering tyrants would undoubtedly not give a crap about murdering babies at a point in pregnancy when the child could be born and still live, right Nancy?

Media reporting on this issue:
Wapo, CNN, AP

Tracked back by:
Supreme Court Upholds Partial-Birth Abortion Ban from The Sandbox...
Late-Term Confusion from The Mahablog...