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April 18, 2007

Comments

Mark

Deo Gratias!

Time to redouble our prayers and continue to turn back the culture of death

Michael

And in these dark days, a little glimmer of light...

Eileen R

Finally!

UK Medic

This article repeatedly states that abortion is actually enshrined in your constitution. Is this true? If so, would someone mind pointing me to the amendment that established it because I, being Johnny Foreigner, really had no idea it was a constitutional right.

In anycase, this good news is quite timely to match the good news from the UK that abortion rates are falling into near crisis here, due to the ever increasing numbers of doctors refusing to perform them. Of course, this will probably just lead to widening of the rules for who can administer one instead of abolitioning or downsizing but every victory is a good one.

Brian Day

Justice Kennedy voted with the majority? Amazing.

Deo Gratias

Eileen R

UK Medic, it's not in their constitution by way of an actual amendment. The Supreme Court read it in as part of the right to privacy. *rolls eyes*

Kasia

UK Medic,

As you may have suspected, it's not 'enshrined' in our written Constitution. It was declared a part of a larger Constitutional 'right to privacy' by judicial fiat in 1973. (In addition to a written constitution, we also have considerable case law and precedent that governs interpretation of our Constitution.)

I'd heard the good news about your declining abortion availability - Deo gratias! I had rather thought that the government would respond by making abortions a mandatory function for medical licensing, but your prediction seems more likely. We over here will certainly be praying for you as well.

Mr. Private

There is also no mention of a "right to privacy" in the Constitution.

Publius

Justice Kennedy voted with the majority? Amazing.

It's not that amazing. Kennedy did, after all, write a very forceful dissent in Stenberg v. Carhart, the case in which the majority struck down the Nebraska PBA ban.

Barbara

Arguments for Roe v. Wade were based on a case called Griswald v. Connecticut in 1965dealing with the issue of artificial birth control.

Pat Malone

Is it not true that 4 of the judges in the majority are Roman Catholic?

Randolph Carter

YEE-HAW! It's about time the Supreme Court stopped axing laws passed by our dully elected congressional representatives and started letting the legislature do its job in passing laws. I know that this victory was only achieved by a slight majority, but it is still a victory nonetheless, and hopefully will set precedent for other such victories in the days to come.

Still, I feel I must remark on how overly biased and factually incorrect the linked article is. Not only does it refer to "a woman's constitutional right" to have an abortion, but it also states that: "It was the first time the court banned a specific procedure . . . " Well, as far as I can tell, the court did not ban a specific procedure. It is not the court's job to do that, nor did they do so in this instance. It was, in fact, the *legislature* that banned this ungodly, barbarous procedure; the court merely opted, in this case, to let the legislature do its job in passing laws and not interfere with the law-making process. Good for them.

It is too bad that the author of this article is so mentally deficient that he cannot tell the difference between the two. It is a shame that such disreputable characters are allowed to work in the field of journalism at all; the author of this article is truly deserving of the titles lib-tard, Dummycrat, and all those other instances of petty name-calling that I usually so abhor.

JD

I'm not surprised at all by four, but I'm really glad about Kennedy!

paul zummo

Pat:

Actually, all five in the majority are Catholic.

Inocencio

My favorite excerpt from the decision is from Justice Thomas:

"I write separately to reiterate my view that the court’s abortion jurisprudence, including Casey and Roe v. Wade, has no basis in the Constitution."

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Sara

All five justices in the majority are indeed Catholic. I've been reading quite a few of their opinions in my consitutional law class this year and Scalia and Thomas are the most consistent in deciding cases from a Catholic viewpoint. Not to mention that Scalia can be downright funny in some of his dissents :)

Paul H

Praise be to God for a small but hopefully significant victory in the ongoing war between the culture of life and the culture of death. Let us take a moment to give thanks, and then re-double our prayers for the much bigger step of overturning Roe v. Wade (or as Jimmy calls it, "the evil decision"). Even that huge step would be only the beginning of a new phase of this war, not by any means the end of the war, but it is a huge and necessary step nonetheless.

I'd also like to quote something that Domenico Bettinelli said on his blog today:

"Voting in the majority to uphold the law banning the murder of a child that is mostly outside his mother were Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito, and Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion. Six lower courts had ruled against this or similar state laws. In 2000, the Supreme Court had upheld those previous rulings, but now that Alito and Roberts are on the bench, the outcome was different. This is why we elected Bush, not once but twice." (quoted from www.bettnet.com)

Think what you want about President Bush (and personally my feelings about him are very mixed), but he apparently has delivered the goods when it comes to appointing good justices to the Supreme Court, which arguably is one of the very most important duties of a president in America's current climate of runaway judicial activism.

Again, praise be to God for a small victory in this ongoing war. Lord, have mercy on us, and grant us the grace to repent from abortion, and to protect all life, from conception to natural death. Amen.

Esau

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.

...

The decision pitted the court's conservatives against its liberals, with President Bush's two appointees, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, siding with the majority.


Okay -- now wait a minute, I thought that the President and the Republican Party were politicians who call themselves pro-life but support abortion and, thus, don't deserve the title?

Esau

Think what you want about President Bush (and personally my feelings about him are very mixed), but he apparently has delivered the goods when it comes to appointing good justices to the Supreme Court, which arguably is one of the very most important duties of a president in America's current climate of runaway judicial activism.


A-M-E-N, Paul H.!

I, myself, have VERY mixed feelings about the President, but when it comes to matters Pro-Life, I believe he's made major contributions to the Pro-Life effort -- especially considering the heavy opposition he constantly faces because of his adamant stand on such issues (e.g., stem cell research as well).

francis 03

Of course this is a good decision, but it's not going to prevent many (or any?) abortions. Justice Ginsburg is on target when she says that it's strange that the first issue the majority brings up is the state's interest in protecting fetal life, while at the same time treating the statute itself as intended not to protect fetal life per se but instead just the sensibilities of doctors and people who find intact D&Es aesthetically yucky.

The upshot: the majority edges close to saying that the state's interest in protecting fetal life can at least sometimes outweigh a woman's interest in an abortion (heath or otherwise), but then decides the case on unrelated technical grounds that make its initial rhetoric seem irrelevant. The most likely course is that Congress (or more likely the states at this point) will try further regulations based on their interest in fetal life, and see how far Justice Kennedy is willing to let them push it.

DJ

Planned Parenthood's website is asking for donations to fight this.

1 Peter 5:10-11 makes me think of what to expect from the other side. Methinks I hear the roaring lion getting a little bit louder.

Dr. Eric "Katolykyj"

Some good news for a change.

Eileen R

I haven't been following the arguments closely - not being American - but isn't the point of the Partial Birth Abortion ban that PBA is actually legally infanticide, not abortion? Anyone know?

Kasia

Planned Parenthood's website is asking for donations to fight this.

How? By appealing to the Super-Duper-Even-Higher Supreme Court?!

DJ

OK, so I'm very ignorant of these things. But if Clinton signed something into law, and then Bush made it go away, then can the next president make Bush's making go away, go away? Of course, then I assume it would have to go to the courts if the next president did that, right?

Sorry for asking a basic question, but I don't really know much about our government. Instead of reading the things like the Constitution, or Declaration of Independence growing up, my public school teachers had me reading the Communist Manifesto and were busy proving God didn't exist (while defending no religion in school.)

John E

This is a reversal of the 2000 PBA decision, and a reversal of many apellate court decisions, and also what we want to with Roe v. Wade. Ah, the shifting sands of the Supreme Court. Thank God we have a higher, truly authoritive Truth, and a visible, identifiable Church to proclaim it.

Kasia

DJ,

I'm not sure I fully understand your question. What did Bush make go away that Clinton signed into law?

The (very) basic process is: Congress passes a law. The President either signs it into law or vetoes it. Let's say Clinton signs it into law. Then it's a law, and the remedies are to either have Congress change it *or* have a court challenge. Bush can't undo Clinton's having signed it into law.

Make sense?

Eileen R

When you go to their site you get

Breaking News
Donate Now as Planned Parenthood Mobilizes in Response to the Supreme Court’s Reckless Decision

and then a Donate button.

Presumably, you don't even need to know what Planned Parenthood is planning to do to respond before you donate.

Rob in Maine

Here is the Supreme Court document from today.

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/06pdf/05-380.pdf

How you guys claim the Republican party is justified in killing innocent children selectively?

Esau

Thanks Rob in Maine!

Supreme Court Document

BillyHW

So does this mean that the act has had force since 2003?

Do we get to put all abortionists who performed PBAs since 2003 on trial now? Or does it take effect now in 2007?

When do we get to start putting murderers in jail?

Eileen R

It would take effect now, I believe. It would be very unjust, even for these people, if they could be tried for something the courts said was legal.

Eileen R

How you guys claim the Republican party is justified in killing innocent children selectively?

It's another incoherent troll!

DJ

Kasia:

So, how did the allowance of PBA come into place? And then the ban on it which is credited to Bush? Both through Congress?

Esau

It would take effect now, I believe. It would be very unjust, even for these people, if they could be tried for something the courts said was legal.


I don't believe that this ruling would have that retroactive effect, especially since the law read it as being legal at the time.

Gene Branaman

In a quote from a Yahoo News piece, Justice 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.'"

Um . . . yeah. Sorta like pro-aborts have tolerated & applauded the federal intervention, in the form of judicial tyranny, in 1973 that superseded state's rights to make laws regarding abortion for over 30 years now?

Justice Ginsburg, your liberal is showing.

Eileen R

DJ, nothing was allowed in the first place. The practice was undertaken by abortionists and presumed legal by them, just another form of abortion. When it became known publicly, various legislatures enacted bans.

Eileen R

a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

What are these cases supposed to be? I've never seen any presented. Usually, the tactic seems to be "If you ban Partial Birth Abortion, you are magically banning all D&E abortions."

"It's another incoherent troll!"

So are you an apologist for the pro-abortionists?


DJ

Thanks Eileen. I think I understand now.

Fr. Stephanos, O.S.B.

Debate for the sake of those who are honestly questioning can be fruitful.

Debate with Planned Parenthood is futile. Time to pray and fast in intercession for conversion. The only way to cast out certain demons.


Esau

So are you an apologist for the pro-abortionists?

Just as you are an apologist for genocide!

Eileen R

So are you an apologist for the pro-abortionists?

Anon, you obviously don't get it. No one understands what you're talking about.

Get a screen name, and maybe explain yourself. I never get why people believe everyone will know what they're thinking from a few incoherent words.

Hahaha................

Just why do you think they initiated a law to put a ban on partial-birth abortion in the first place?

Esau

The only way to cast out certain demons.

I wish there was also a way in terms of trolls.

Eileen R

Just why do you think they initiated a law to put a ban on partial-birth abortion in the first place?

Please enlighten us! If you have such important knowledge, why tease us with one-liners? Surely you have some argument to make!

John E

How you guys claim the Republican party is justified in killing innocent children selectively?

I take it this is supposed to mean that if one is in favor of preventing a small number of abortions it must mean he is in favor of keeping all the rest legal? Uh...no!

"Please enlighten us! If you have such important knowledge, why tease us with one-liners? Surely you have some argument to make!"

It's simple. To destroy democracy that's why.

Esau

Hahaha................

"Hahahaha.... I am such the anonymous idiot that to give proper answer to such intelligent folks as Eileen R would be too much a burden for me.

The only response I can muster is that which springs from my idiocy; thus, why I refuse to identify me."

Eileen R

Esau, I'm starting to think he must be just a very good parody of the non-sequitur wielding troll. That last answer was classic.

The really good troll must leave everyone in doubt whether they're a enraged conservative or an enraged liberal, a Catholic or an Atheist etc. etc. He certainly qualifies.

"Esau, I'm starting to think he must be just a very good parody of the non-sequitur wielding troll. That last answer was classic.

The really good troll must leave everyone in doubt whether they're a enraged conservative or an enraged liberal, a Catholic or an Atheist etc. etc. He certainly qualifies."

Show me where, the law baning partial birth abortion puts a ban on all abortions?

Esau

It's simple. To destroy democracy that's why.

Yes!

That must be it!

And destroy the entire free world until all are brought under KAOS, the International Organization of Evil!

Kasia

DJ,

So, how did the allowance of PBA come into place? And then the ban on it which is credited to Bush? Both through Congress?

As Eileen said, it was 'just another abortion procedure' and presumed legal. Then various legislatures came up with bans.

In this case, the federal partial-birth abortion ban was passed by Congress and signed into law by Bush.

I don't know the ins and outs of the history of this particular law, but usually when such a high-profile and controversial law is under review by the courts, it is sort of held in suspended animation. Maybe one of our resident attorneys can speak to this better than I can, but as I understand it, partial-birth abortions that took place while the law was in the courts *cannot* be prosecuted without violating ex post facto (the principle that you cannot be punished retroactively for something that was legal at the time you did it).

David B.

"It's simple. To destroy democracy that's why. "

Who how preventing the urder of innocents destroying democracy? The opposite is true. Do you think that the supply of thousands of jobs which illegal are taking wouldn't be occupied by those who were murdered before birth?

BTW, the Constitution says that 'all men are created equal.' Not born equal, but created equal.

Eileen R

Show me where, the law baning partial birth abortion puts a ban on all abortions?

Only if you'll tell me where are past years are,
Or who cleft the devil's foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
And find What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

Esau

Show me where, the law baning partial birth abortion puts a ban on all abortions?


Quite exemplary logic!

Only one type of abortion was stopped and, therefore, this MUST mean that the Republican Party wants to kill people off selectively!

Simply Outstanding! Bravo!

Kasia

No, Esau - it's to bring the world under the power of JA.O! Get out your bat signal and secret decoder ring - the message is coming through!

David B.

Correction: I meant to say: and how would the murder of innocents destroy democracy?

"Who how preventing the murder of innocents destroying democracy? The opposite is true. Do you think that the supply of thousands of jobs which illegal are taking wouldn't be occupied by those who were murdered before birth?

BTW, the Constitution says that 'all men are created equal.' Not born equal, but created equal."

Because for one thing, the law banning partial birth-abortion contradicts itself. And with one stroke of the pen, Bush could have outlawed all abortions. Thirdly, you don't legislate abortion.

David B.

Correction again: "and how would preventing the murder of innocents destroy democracy?

Long night.

David B.

"And with one stroke of the pen, Bush could have outlawed all abortions."

Wrong. He couldn't have. Bush can outlaw abortion precedures, but NOT the 'right' to all abortions.

Esau

And with one stroke of the pen, Bush could have outlawed all abortions.

Gee, I must've missed this Power of the President in American Government!

Quite exemplary logic! Only one type of abortion was stopped and, therefore, this MUST mean that the Republican Party wants to kill people off selectively! Simply Outstanding! Bravo!

You're probably coming up with an argument to defend Suction aspiration, Dilation and curettage, Dilation and evacuation, Dilation and extraction, Salt poisoning, Prostaglandins, Hysterotomy, and Chemical abortions.

"Gee, I must've missed this Power of the President in American Government!" Democracies don't survive when children are killed under the cover of law.

Esau

You're probably coming up with an argument to defend Suction aspiration, Dilation and curettage, Dilation and evacuation, Dilation and extraction, Salt poisoning, Prostaglandins, Hysterotomy, and Chemical abortions.


Just as I'm trying to come up with an argument why your mother didn't have an abortion.

Esau

Democracies don't survive when children are killed under the cover of law.


THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT!!!

That's WHY folks are trying to REVERSE the TIDE of ROE V. WADE with little steps like these!

Kasia

Dear anonymous poster, I think you have misjudged people here. Most of the regular posters here are avowedly pro-life. What we are rejoicing in is a small step.

I suggest you rethink your audience here - if you're pro-life (as your comments suggest) then your critiques amount to friendly fire. And a posting name, even an alias, helps lend credibility. Just a thought.

God bless,
Kasia

Jason in SA

I find the opinion a bit ominous. Justice Kennedy intimates that the statute is upheld owing to its practical inability to be violated. ("[T]he Act contains scienter requirements concerning all the actions involved in the prohibited abortion. To begin with, the physician must have "deliberately and intentionally" delivered the fetus to one of the Act's anatomical landmarks. If a living fetus is delivered past the critical point by accident or inadvertence, the Act is inapplicable. In addition, the fetus must have been delivered "for the purpose of performing an overt act that the [doctor] knows will kill [it].")

Leave it to an abortionist not to violate the law. I can see it already: "Whoops, didn't this little fellow inadvertently slip past one of his anatomical landmarks without my deliberately and intentionally having yanked him out of his mother! Oh well!"

Also, Thomas and Scalia's concurrence was troubling. They hinted that a Commerce Clause challenge hadn't been raised in either of these consolidated cases--and their views re Commerce Clause jurisprudence are not in doubt. I think they would find that Congress does not have the power to enact such legislation (while New Deal and Warren Court precedent would disagree and say that Congress does).

And neither Scalia nor Thomas's commitment to life issues will trump their commitment to deciding cases within their constitutional powers as justices. Don't look for them to stretch and bend the language of our founding Document for selfish ends. They would rather be able to proclaim, and rightly so, that the abortion business is none of the Supreme Court's business (and, consequently, none of the federal government's business).

That, to me, presents an interesting dilemma: where abortion would be permitted in some states and not others. There is nothing we could do about those states who so chose to permit such a moral travesty to occur within their jurisdictional confines.

Sigh.

"That's WHY folks are trying to REVERSE the TIDE of ROE V. WADE with little steps like these!"

The exeecutive powers of the president include, according to Harvard law graduate Howard Phillips, the following which he said he would do on his first day in the White House were he to be elected president:

"Abortion in America must be ended. And if God chooses to bring our principles, our platform, and our plan of action, and our candidates to office, we will strive to be sensitive to His will and to faithfully do it. On Day One as President, I will officially acknowledge the legal personhood of the unborn child, and appoint new US Attorneys who will make it their top priority to work with state and local officials in prosecuting and closing down every abortuary within their jurisdictions."

In 1988 President Ronald Reagan issued the PERSONHOOD PROCLAMATION which, I must add, was totally ignored by Congress. You can read it on line at http://www.lpca.us/personhood_proclamation%20by%20Reagan.htm

Finally, when Michael A. Peroutka ran for president a few years ago he made the same statement but did not give us too many facts. However his statement is worth reading and it is at http://www.peroutka2004.com/schedule/index.php?action=itemview&event_id=189

Esau

PLEASE LEARN what EXACTLY are the EXECUTIVE POWERS of the Office of the Presidency prior to making such outrageous statements like:

And with one stroke of the pen, Bush could have outlawed all abortions.


With the stroke of my pen, I could've outlawed (as Eileen R puts it) incoherent trolls as well in all the free world!

Kasia

"...I will officially acknowledge the legal personhood of the unborn child, and appoint new US Attorneys who will make it their top priority to work with state and local officials in prosecuting and closing down every abortuary within their jurisdictions."

Respectfully, that doesn't sound like a one-stroke-of-the-pen move to me. In order to prosecute and close down abortion clinics, one must first have abortion be ILLEGAL. (See earlier comment about ex post facto.) And officially acknowledging the personhood of the unborn sounds a lot like what Reagan did...and you yourself admitted that it was largely ignored. Probably because it didn't have the force of law.

John E

Anonymous poster is also selectively killing children. The law won't be changed here on JA.O, but yet he/she is spending a lot of time posting here rather than changing the law, while millions die in the meantime. Anonymous poster, using her/his own logic, is selectively killing babies by allowing these abortions to continue. When are you going to actually do something about the abortions, AP?! And don't even think about feeding the poor if you're going to continue using your logic, because it means you're still implicitly allowing abortions to continue. In fact, you're in favor of them continuing.

Esau

Actually, John E., the reason why Anon Poster is so much against selective abortion is because HE WANTS ALL FORMS OF ABORTION TO REMAIN LEGAL!

Esau

Kasia:

Thank-you for your significant contributions to this thread!

Might I ask (if it's not too personal), do you actually work in some legal capacity in your professional life?

Kasia

"GARSH!"

No, Esau - I considered law school, but decided against it. My undergraduate work was in political science, though, with emphases in comparative politics and American law and judicial processes. So it's a significant interest of mine. :-)

"PLEASE LEARN what EXACTLY are the EXECUTIVE POWERS of the Office of the Presidency prior to making such outrageous statements like: And with one stroke of the pen, Bush could have outlawed all abortions. With the stroke of my pen, I could've outlawed (as Eileen R puts it) incoherent trolls as well in all the free world!"

Esau tell that to Judie Brown.

"Judie, I find it amazing that when I tell people that with one stroke of the pen Bush could have abortion illegal, they'll respond, "this is not a dictatorship". Are they suggesting that such an act of God is fascism? To say that the statement, Bush could have with one stroke of the pen put an end to abortion, is an act of fascism is just rediculous. I mean come on, irresponsible statements like calling an act of God fascism, doesn't really help the pro-life movement. These same people who accuse us criticizing Bush could these people end up supporting a dictatorship themselves? That's what could happen if we're not careful. Just my opinion.

Nick"

"Dear Nick

Perhaps the best response to such people is that murdering innocent human beings is insane; stopping such crimes is just. Democracy cannot survive when the innocent are being put to death under cover of law.

Judie Brown"

David B.

Esau,

I think you should apologize for this:
Just as I'm trying to come up with an argument why your mother didn't have an abortion.

I believe that the poster is pro-life, so much so that he believes (incorrectly) that the president, at this time, has the power to outlaw all abortions. As I said before, the only reason that the supremes allowed this to stand is that it doesn't outlaw abortion. It makes one precedure illegal. The 'right' to abortion, unfortunately, remains.

Hugh Dyment

The least biased report on the decision I've seen yet today is from the BBC at <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6569007.stm>. Check out the last sentence that makes clear that it is still legal to dismember fetuses in the womb.

Esau

No, Esau - I considered law school, but decided against it. My undergraduate work was in political science, though, with emphases in comparative politics and American law and judicial processes. So it's a significant interest of mine. :-)


AWESOME!

I, for one, am certainly happy you've taken the time to provide us with such information!

Of course, even in the past, I often loved reading your comments!

paul zummo

Other things the President could ban with one stroke of his pen:

- rainy days
- rap music
- head lice
- death
- time
- the designated hitter
- global warming
- global cooling
- weather

How can the President accomplish all this: the super-duper extraordinary presidential powers clause of the Constiution. It's located in Article XXX, right after the right to privacy.

Esau

Esau,

I think you should apologize for this:
Just as I'm trying to come up with an argument why your mother didn't have an abortion.


David B.

You misunderstood the purpose of that remark --

I was attempting to show just how ridiculous and false his/her statements were with an equally ridiculous and false statement.

francis 03

Guys, I've decried rhetoric like Anon's more than once around here, but his/her comments point toward something important. The Court didn't say Congress can ban any abortion-- it just said that Congress can regulate HOW the unborn child gets killed, without regard to whether some doctors think this increases the danger to the mother. As the Court cast the law it wasn't even INTENDED to prevent fetuses from being killed, and as Jason noted its interpretation of the "intentionality" requirement means that at best, enforcement of this procedural regulation will be largely up to how willing local U.S. Attorneys are to try to prove intent from circumstantial evidence (which if you like the law is another reason to vote against Rudy Giuliani).

There are two reasons this opinion is a hopeful sign: Justice Kennedy (1) speaks strongly but superfluously about the state's interest in protecting fetal life, and (2) explicitly avoids reaffirming Roe or Casey. This doesn't mean he personally has changed his mind about Roe, but it does mean that he decided to forgo the chance to entrench it further, as a cost of upholding some abortion regulations.

A quick legal primer for those who've asked questions:

The 14th Amendment says that no state can deprive anyone of life, liberty or property without due process of law. For decades now the Supreme Court has interpreted this to mean, among other things, that the right to an abortion is a "liberty" so basic that a state can't take it away at all, except in certain limited circumstances in the last three months of pregnancy. About 15 years ago the Court refined this and said that a state can't place an "undue burden" on a woman's right to get an abortion.

The law at issue in this case is the partial-birth abortion ban, which bans a certain kind of abortion PROCEDURE where a live fetus is pulled partway out of the mother before being killed. It was twice vetoed by President Clinton before being signed by President Bush, which means that it can be repealed by any future Congress and President. It doesn't mean that the fetus can't be aborted; it just means that the doctor must kill it some other way (such as by dismembering or poisoning it inside the uterus). The medical community was divided about whether this is ever "medically necessary"-- that is, whether it is ever safer for a woman than other kinds of abortion that could be used at a similar stage in pregnancy. If this were clearly the case, the Court would probably say that a ban would place an "undue burden" on the right to an abortion, and thus unconstitutional. But Justice Kennedy basically here said that Congress has the right to decide such an issue when the medical evidence is conflicting-- so, based on Congress's finding that partial-birth abortions AREN'T ever medically necessary, they don't place an undue burden on the right to an abortion and thus may stand. But this is ONLY the case because, even with this law on the books, it's clear that in any given situation there will be other, legal, abortion procdures available by which the fetus can be killed without great danger to the mother.

Kasia

Stop, Esau, you're making me blush! ;-) I think you're super too!

...although I do agree with David that that particular comment to our anonymous friend crossed the line. I don't think it came across as you intended...

Smoky Mountain Pro-lifer

Esau wrote:

Just as I'm trying to come up with an argument why your mother didn't have an abortion.

Esau -- please retract that statement.

Recovering Catholic

The Constitution does not say "All men are created equal." That's in the Declaration of Independence.

Creation is a process that begins at conception and ends with birth. This is how it is described in scripture in terms of God "knitting" someone in his mother's womb.

It may be wrong for a woman to terminate the procreative process, but it's not the same thing as murder. I don't believe women who choose to terminate the procreative process should be punished.

As a sin or crime, abortion is more similiar to contraception than murder.

francis 03

To address DJ's question squarely:

Partial-birth abortion was allowed by the fact that in Roe v. Wade the Supreme Court invalidatd just about every law on the books regulating abortion. So for a few years at least, just about any kind of abortion was legal. The states and federal government have spent the last 30-some years trying to figure out what more modest regulations the Supreme Court will permit. The partial-birth ban was enacted to test the outer boundary; it is one of the more serious regulations that has been allowed yet.

Esau

francis03:

One word -- 'baby steps'.

But thanks so much for all that info though!


Yet, I still find it quite bewildering that:

The 14th Amendment says that no state can deprive anyone of life ...

... doesn't actually extend to the fetus.


Also, how is it that the murderer of a pregnant mother can be indicted for killing two people -- both the mother and the baby she's carrying -- and, yet, the abortion laws doesn't even acknowledge the baby as a person?

francis 03

Recovering, how does "creation" end at birth? Looks to me like the "process" you're talking about is called "growth," and it ends closer to age 20.

BobCatholic

Looks like we may actually stand a chance of doing something about the Culture of Death.

Unfortunately two big problems.

A democratic congress which worships the culture of death.
A republican party which wants to join their democratic friends in worshipping the culture of death.

So we'll have this nice breather in the growth in the culture of death, until Hillary gets in then the march (goosestep) of the culture of death shall continue.

Secular society has no hope as long as it is secular. Until society accepts Christ's sceptre, that is. Then, and only then, will it have hope.

Nick

"Other things the President could ban with one stroke of his pen:

- rainy days
- rap music
- head lice
- death
- time
- the designated hitter
- global warming
- global cooling
- weather

How can the President accomplish all this: the super-duper extraordinary presidential powers clause of the Constiution. It's located in Article XXX, right after the right to privacy."

Here's why I'm so opposed to this bill.

http://www.all.org/newsroom_judieblog.php

"I found it interesting that the Supreme Court upheld the Partial Birth Abortion Law that contains a life of the mother exception. I found it even more interesting that the justices themselves found the law "facially" constitutional, pointing out that the lawsuits challenging the partial birth abortion law should never have been allowed in court anyway.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, made it clear that the proper way to challenge such a law, "if an abortion ban is claimed to harm a woman's right to abortion," is through an as-applied claim. In other words, the law can be challenged again based on a particular mother's claim that if she does not get a partial birth abortion, her life will be endangered.

Kennedy said: "the Court was assuming that the federal ban would be unconstitutional 'if it subjected women to significant health risks.'"

Justice Kennedy clarified that other options are readily available to the woman in such a circumstance, so no significant obstacle to obtaining an abortion exists even though the partial birth abortion law was upheld.

In other words, the decision rendered today simply outlaws most of a particular type of abortion; it does not limit when an abortion can be done nor does it limit abortions by other methods up through the moment of birth.

The pro-abortion crowd will scream bloody murder, of course. And the Republicans will use today's decision to distance themselves from "radical" pro-life positions, but in point of fact, what was really won today?

If pro-lifers consider this a victory, then somebody better check what they are putting in their coffee."

I think you idiot neo-cons on here should learn a thing or two from Judie Brown. Blind fools!

Esau

Smoky Mountain Pro-lifer:

Please examine the actual context of that remark I made.

It's the similar to how somebody would say:

"Just as I would be for your mother having an abortion or anybody else for that matter."

Of course, treating a statement out-of-context can often bring out a meaning that wasn't intended.

caine

Let's take a moment to revisit the philosophical foundation laid by PP vs. Casey:

These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.

One could say that Cho fellow was simply defining his own concept of existence on Monday. Who's to say he wasn't??? Madison AND Jefferson were rolling over in their graves after Sandy's demi-God pronouncements. Not to mention John Locke! They rolled back the other way after reading this gem of legal analysis:

These considerations begin our analysis of the woman's interest in terminating her pregnancy, but cannot end it, for this reason: though the abortion decision may originate within the zone of conscience and belief, it is more than a philosophic exercise. Abortion is a unique act. It is an act fraught with consequences for others: for the woman who must live with the implications of her decision; for the persons who perform and assist in the procedure; for the spouse, family, and society which must confront the knowledge that these procedures exist, procedures some deem nothing short of an act of violence against innocent human life; and, depending on one's beliefs, for the life or potential life that is aborted. Though abortion is conduct, it does not follow that the State is entitled to proscribe it in all instances. That is because the liberty of the woman is at stake in a sense unique to the human condition, and so, unique to the law. The mother who carries a child to full term is subject to anxieties, to physical constraints, to pain that only she must bear. That these sacrifices have from the beginning of the human race been endured by woman with a pride that ennobles her in the eyes of others and gives to the infant a bond of love cannot alone be grounds for the State to insist she make the sacrifice. Her suffering is too intimate and personal for the State to insist, without more, upon its own vision of the woman's role, however dominant that vision has been in the course of our history and our culture. The destiny of the woman must be shaped to a large extent on her own conception of her spiritual imperatives and her place in society.

This "legal" summation of the psycho-spiritual-biological nature of motherhood which does not recognize the fetus as a separate human being, entitled to at least theoretical protection, is currently the law of the land. The opinion of today's case gives a wee tiny hint that this court may consider breaching that subject. That's certainly cause for hope, but it's also cause for concern. If Kennedy, Alito, or Roberts join O'Connor's Concept of Existence book club, they could easily slam the door shut.

Brian

"Creation is a process that begins at conception and ends with birth. This is how it is described in scripture in terms of God "knitting" someone in his mother's womb."

I don't think that's in my catechism.

"It may be wrong for a woman to terminate the procreative process, but it's not the same thing as murder. I don't believe women who choose to terminate the procreative process should be punished."

Don't we have a shorter term for "terminating the procreative process" - oh yeah contraception. In that case I agree with you. Contraception is wrong for women, and don't forget men too. I also agree they shouldn't be punished as murderers/abortionists because those can obviously only occur after the procreative process has been completed (also known as contraception).

"As a sin or crime, abortion is more similiar to contraception than murder."

We've already established that abortion can only occur after contraception. That makes it a crime against the person being aborted.

paul zummo

Who the heck is Judie Brown, and why should I care about her incorrect musings on these matters?

francis 03

Agreed. Baby steps. I just want everyone to realize that this that's all this is-- and that at this point it's only even a "baby step" because of its rhetoric, not because of it's effect.

As to the 14th Amendment, I could have been more precise: it actually only protects "persons." Roe v. Wade held that, while a fetus may or may not be a human life, it is not a legal person, and so its life is not protected by the Amendment. Some people argue that a fetus IS a 14th-Amendment person, and they further claim that this means that the states should be REQUIRED to ban all abortions. But there are two objections to this: (1) for centuries, the unborn actually have been afforded different (and in some matters no) rights, in our legal tradition. Additionally, (2) the portion of the 14th Amendment at issue here limits only what a state may DO to its people. But the main issue in the abortion debate is not whether the state itself may abort fetuses (which would clearly violate the Amendment if they were "persons") but whether it must PERMIT others to do so.

But just because a life (or "potential life") isn't a legal person doesn't mean the state has no interest in protecting it, even though the 14th Amendment doesn't. That's what Justice Kennedy is talking about near the beginning of today's opinion. That's also what permits states to punish murderers of pregnant women more severely. The only reason this doesn't apply in the abortion context is that the Court has held that a woman's 14th-Amendment "liberty" interest in having an abortion outweighs the state's interest in protecting the fetus. Third parties who kill the fetus against the mother's will have no corresponding liberty interest.

Sally

Abortion reduces the number of unwanted and molested children.

Recovering Catholic

francis,

In reading discussions of frozen embryo adoption I came across the traditional Catholic view that procreation was a process that began at conception and ended at birth. This is mentioned in the blog archives and also here:

http://rightreason.ektopos.com/archives/2005/11/catholic_moral.html

"Post-implantation pregnancy is a part of procreation. Hence, for a woman to adopt a child into her womb is for her to engage in procreation outside of marital relations with her husband."

BTW, apparently Justice Clarence Thomas indicated he might have voted to invalidate the partial birth abortion statute had the issue of the Commerce Clause been raised which would have given us of course a different result.

http://www.scotusblog.com/movabletype/

francis 03

So would killing the unwanted and molested children. That's no reason to support such an awful practice. Perhaps helping them would be a better approach.

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