ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A Certain Type of Late-Term Abortion

Which, to some on the "progressive" (and illiberal) Left is still too inflammatory, preferring the more antiseptic term "Dilation & Extraction" or just D&E. No need to use clear languages that conveys the specifics of the process... nah, Partial Birth Abortion is just a term that only those fundie nutjobs could come up with.

From CNN:

CNN) -- A challenge to a federal law banning a certain type of late-term abortion begins Monday in three states, including one where the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar state ban four years ago.

Lawsuits were filed in the fall on behalf of several abortion-advocacy organizations in federal court in three cities.

Opponents of the law say it could become the first step in a move toward abolishing abortion. Supporters say the law applies only to a specific procedure performed late in pregnancy.

Congress passed the bill -- dubbed the "Partial-Birth Abortion Act," using the nonmedical term that anti-abortion activists prefer for the procedure -- in October, and President Bush signed it into law in November.
nice "scare quotes"... not sure that the USA PATRIOT Act or other legislation gets scare quotes around their titles.
The focus of all three trials -- in federal courts in New York; San Francisco, California; and Lincoln, Nebraska -- is expected to be on whether the procedure, called by doctors dilation and extraction (intact D&E), is ever medically necessary.

During the procedure, the fetus is partially removed and its skull collapsed.
So, let me get this straight.. the "fetus" is partially removed (aka birthed) and then its skull is collapsed? hmmm, partial birth abortion sounds like a pretty accurate description to me.
The National Abortion Federation, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and a handful of doctors sued in the three cities to overturn the law.

The federal government contends that it is never necessary, refuting the Supreme Court's rejection of a Nebraska law in a 2000 decision.

It's interesting that opinion polls, which are inexplicably used in other articles about court cases, are not used in this instance. Perhaps it's because this "certain type of late-term abortion" is opposed by all but the most extreme on the pro-choice side?

This op-ed from the WSJ provides the appropriate perspective (all without scare quotes!):

Partial Rebirth
February 22, 2006; Page A14

The Supreme Court jumped back into the abortion wars yesterday, agreeing to hear a challenge to lower court rulings tossing out a 2003 federal law that banned an especially gruesome late-term abortion procedure.

The case won't come close to challenging the fundamental right to an abortion that the High Court discovered in Roe v. Wade and later reinforced in Casey, which retains at least five votes of support among current Justices. But this partial-birth case (Gonzales v. Carhart) will signal whether the court is willing to rethink its opposition to even minor state regulation of abortion.

In the 2000 Stenberg v. Carhart decision, a narrow majority of five Justices overturned a state partial-birth abortion ban on grounds that it didn't include an adequate exception for the "health" of the mother. But Sandra Day O'Connor was the fifth vote in that case, and she's been replaced by Samuel Alito. New Chief Justice John Roberts also remains a mystery on the abortion question.

The 2003 federal law includes no health-of-the-mother exception, principally because "health" had become so broadly defined it was used to justify the procedure in nearly every instance [including the economic and mental "health" of the mother]. Abortion opponents say the procedure is never medically necessary to protect a woman's health. Their arguments prevailed in Congress, which passed the law with overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate.

The Court could do the country a favor by overturning its recent precedent and deferring to legislative majorities that want some restraint on a practice the late New York Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan once called "just too close to infanticide."

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Comments (2)
Monterey John said...

"Murder" sounds like a good description too.

St Wendeler said...

Always so inflammatory, John.

Just repeat after me...