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Breaking: Supreme Court Upholds Federal Ban on Partial Birth Abortion

Finally, some common sense from the SCOTUS on this evil, disgusting, and unnecessary procedure that was nothing short of infanticide:

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 opponents of the act "have not demonstrated that the Act would be unconstitutional in a large fraction of relevant cases," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion.

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.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia also were in the majority.

It was the first time the court banned a specific procedure in a case over how--not whether--to perform an abortion.

Most Americans, even those who are pro-choice, understand how sick this procedure was. If a late term pregnancy was so harmful to the mother's health, then the mother should just deliver the baby and give the baby a chance to survive. But this procedure wasn't really about saving the life of the mother. It was about killing an unwanted baby.

Keep in mind, Anthony Kennedy, who regularly voted to in support of Roe v Wade, voted with the majority in this case and wrote the majority opinion. Allahpundit makes a very interesting point about this last fact:

If the Chief Justice is in the majority, as Roberts was here, it falls to him to decide who's responsible for writing the majority opinion. Kennedy probably got the call for two reasons: one, having an author of the Casey opinion put his name on today's decision lends it a bit of extra authority, and two, since Kennedy is a fencesitter on this issue, Roberts wants to do what little he can to "lock him in" to anti-abortion precedent by making him as personally invested in it as possible.

Update: You can download the decision from SCOTUSBlog here.

Update II: AJ Strata addresses the complaints from some on the right that Bush is not a conservative:

Partial Birth Abortion Band, Parental Notification. These laws passed because conservatives took what they could get to establish some progress on the right to life issues. This would not have happened if impatient people on the right had 'sat out' elections to send a message they were not getting their full satisfaction. When it comes to life, half a loaf is better than no loaf at all. Progress over purity is a dead end. Maybe now all the far right whiners will stop moaning about Bush and perform some long over-do recognition of what President Bush accomplished in his two terms.

Some lefties are angry at Justice Kennedy, claiming that he's abandoned them, and now they're lamenting the fact that killing a late term unborn baby by sucking its brains out is no longer legal. Of course, they disguise partial birth abortion as "women's rights," which is a bunch of hooey.

Here's a feminist whose first comment was "We're f***ed." Sure, lady, if you mean that you can't go to an abortionist when you're 6+ months pregnant and have your unborn baby almost completely delivered except for his head and have his brains sucked out while he's still alive because you just don't feel like being pregnant any longer, then yes, I suppose you're f***ed. Be sure to check out the comments on this feminist's blog as well. These wacko women are beside themselves about the fact that they can't kill their babies in this manner any longer. Hat tip: Mary Katharine.

Update III (Lorie): Bulldog Pundit at ABP has an interesting take based on his experience as a lawyer.

What strikes me about this opinion, at my first quick glance, is the minute, and thoroughly gruesome detail, in which Justice Kennedy (who wrote the Opinion) describes the procedure. Some who are against the ruling may think that doing so shows the decision was based on emotion.

But anyone who has done appellate work knows better. My first assignment in the DA's office was not to try cases, but rather to write appellate briefs and argue them before the courts (I've done oral arguments before the PA Superior Court and the PA Supreme Court). Doing so showed me just how important it was for the attorney at the trial level to make a detailed record of the facts, because once a case goes on appeal, the main focus of appellate judges is (or at least should be) on the trial record. Nothing outside of that transcript can be considered.

Thus, as you can see in this case, the trial attorneys (who knew the SCOTUS would eventually decide the issue) did a great job of filling the record with the specific details of the procedure, as those details were necessary to convince the Court that the new law complied with the statute enacted after a prior court struck down the first Partial Birth Abortion ban. Doing so was also important because one of the arguments of the pro-abortion side was that the statute was vague and unspecific. Thus, the trial attorneys had to get as specific as possible about what went on in order to show how the actual act violated the statute.

The leading GOP candidates' responses to the decision can be found at the links below. Hillary and Barack have nothing on the decision posted at their websites at this time.

McCain
Giuliani
Romney

Update IV: John Hawkins at Right Wing News notes that the fight to replace Harriet Miers was worth the effort because of the role her replacement, Justice Samuel Alito, played in today's ruling.

Update V: Mark Levin isn't as positive on this ruling. He believes Justice Kennedy has signaled to being open to a challenge on a health exception:

I don't understand what all the fuss is about. The fact is that Anthony Kennedy makes clear that he is open to a case where the litigant asserts a health exception to partial-birth abortion. He makes this clear in several ways, including distinguishing between a "facial" vs. "as-applied" challenge, and all but invites such a challenge. That is, he is soliciting a health-exception challenge. Kennedy also telegraphs how he'll vote -- with the other four activists. In short, he says the federal statute, which excepts partial-birth abortion in cases that threaten the life of the mother (thereby narrowing the health exception), is consistent with past court rulings, but he is prepared to reverse course in a future case involving non-life threatening health exceptions. Maybe today's decision will temporarily chill doctors from performing partial-birth abortions. But the emphasis here is on word "temporary."

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» La Shawn Barber's Corner linked with Supreme Court Upholds Ban On Partial Birth Abortion

» snapped shot linked with Stepping Back from the Brink (PBA ban upheld)

» The Mahablog linked with Late-Term Confusion

» Wake up America linked with Partial Birth Abortion Ban UPHELD

» Mark's Views, Perhaps linked with PBA at VATech?

Comments (55)

Nasty business, that. Good... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Nasty business, that. Good thing to get rid of.

Abortion is a sick procedur... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Abortion is a sick procedure no matter how it is performed. Democrats went to the mat again and again for this particularly monstrous procedure. I hope they are proud of themselves.

Excellent news! It's a sta... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Excellent news! It's a start.

I guess Kenendy is only 95% evil...

Is partial birth abortion c... (Below threshold)
Pete_Bondurant:

Is partial birth abortion considered to be violent by Mr. Obama?

Will the race pimps Jesse a... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Will the race pimps Jesse and Bookman chime in on this, or, are they still in the back room counting $$ after their latest media blitz?

US courts need to decide once and for all if a fetus is a life, or not. Many want to have it both ways, it is a life if a pregnant woman is killed, or if there is a miscarriage, but it isnt if you want to murder it.

Bravo! for doing away with ... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

Bravo! for doing away with this grisly procedure.

After the tragic loss of li... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

After the tragic loss of life earlier this week, this is very good timing for this great bit of news.

Fetuses everywhere are cele... (Below threshold)
metprof:

Fetuses everywhere are celebrating (twins and triplets are high-fiving each other)

When Kennedy writes, "have ... (Below threshold)
Weegie:

When Kennedy writes, "have not demonstrated that the Act would be unconstitutional in a large fraction of relevant cases," is he saying that they have indeed demonstrated that it is unconstitutional in some number of cases?

I'm no fan of abortion of any type, but being a non-lawyer,this language bothers me. Can a law be upheld if it is "sometimes unconstitutional"? Am I being naive if I feel that a law is either constitutional or unconstitutional. Like being pregnant - you either are or are not pregnant, you're never "a large fraction" pregnant.

That's how I see things - can anybody shed some scholarly light on this?

How many of you condemning ... (Below threshold)
Marla R. Stevens:

How many of you condemning this procedure have actually been part of one? I have. My first was when a baby was literally stuck in the mother's pelvis and there was nothing else that could've been done. Everyone was upset -- but it was clearly the best thing that could be done. The mother's reproductive capacity was saved -- she later gave birth to healthy twins after being properly medically monitored unlike the previous pregnancy.

None of these procedures I witnessed over the years were gratuitous and all were done to preserve the mother's health, sometimes including her life. None of the aborted fetuses were unwanted but, in every case, something had gone tragically wrong.

You are, in my opinion, the callous ones disrespectful of life.

Late term abortions are eit... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Late term abortions are either legal or not. To allow some types of procedures and not others is a loss for anyone.

This ruling will not eliminate abortions. The only difference is that now all fetuses will be torn apart (D&C) in the womb instead of punctured in the brain.

Marla, the statute in quest... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Marla, the statute in question provides this:

This subsection [imposing penalties] does not apply to a partial-birth abortion that is necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.

Aparently Marla has never h... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Aparently Marla has never heard of a C Section.

Marla, Why couldn'... (Below threshold)

Marla,

Why couldn't the doctor have done a C-section and pulled the baby out that way? My tailbone sticks way too far into my pelvis, so I can't deliver any baby vaginally. Therefore, I am forced to have c-sections.

It makes me want to vomit to think of the pain that poor baby, full term I'm guessing, went through having his/her brains sucked out when he/she was still alive. I would have demanded the doctor break my pelvis bone rather than kill my baby. I would give my life for the life of my kids.

The 'health of the mother' ... (Below threshold)
hermie:

The 'health of the mother' phrase has always been used as a means of creating a technicality which could be exploited. Note that those who use this phrase are careful not to use terminology that says the 'physical health' of the mother.

"Health of the mother' is interpreted by the abortion lobby in the very broadest sense, including mental ailments such as 'severe depression' which cannot be proven with physical evidence and must be taken at the word of the abortion provider. This gives the provider wide latitude to declare a mother's 'health' in jeopardy, so that the abortion may be carried out despite what the law intended.

I'm concerned about how thi... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

I'm concerned about how this was approached. From what I have gathered from links at Instapundit, this ruling completely disregarded the fact that the ban was based on the commerce clause... which apparently was the right thing to do from a legalese standpoint.

My concern is this: if there are a bunch of BS laws Congress has given itself the power to legislate based on this overly broad commerce clause, will we miss an opportunity to drastically reduce its power just to uphold the ban?

My other concern is, if it's a bad idea to use the commerce clause to enact laws we don't like, why is it a good idea to use it to enact laws we do like? I'd like to see abortion be illegal... including for rape and incest, but not necessarily for the life of the mother... but I'd like to see it done right.

Marla, I think you are lyin... (Below threshold)
kim:

Marla, I think you are lying. Why are you lying?
==============================

Abortion is a very, very te... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Abortion is a very, very terrible procedure. It sickens me also to know that most abortions are done for convenience. It is the new method of birth control. I wish people would discuss this on the merits and morality of abortion and not on the political. Women are sometimes portrayed as the mature responsible ones of the species, but there are millions of dead babies at the hands of mature responsible women. So sad. ww

Thank God for this Supreme ... (Below threshold)
B Balaji:

Thank God for this Supreme Court decision. May the future babies rejoice. Thank God for putting President Bush in the office for the two Justices Alito and Roberts in the mold of Justices Scalia and Thomas. Thanks to Justice Kennendy for doing the right thing. Hope he will continue to support future life and family decisions.
Hope, Stevens retires in June and a third conservative is nominated by President Bush.

Thank God for this Supreme ... (Below threshold)
B Balaji:

Thank God for this Supreme Court decision. May the future babies rejoice. Thank God for putting President Bush in the office and thus appointing the two Justices Alito and Roberts in the mold of Justices Scalia and Thomas. Thanks to Justice Kennendy for doing the right thing. Hope he will continue to support future life and family decisions.
Hope, Stevens retires in June and a third conservative is nominated by President Bush.

I found it interesting that... (Below threshold)
scotty:

I found it interesting that Kennedy wrote this opinion and that he included some graphic details and testimony about parital birth abortion. One nurse testified that the fetus having been partially delivered was grasping with its tiny hands until the head was punctured when it twiched with a start then went limp. He also includes some additional graphic content about normal abortions stating that normally the fetus is torn apart within the uterus and extracted in 10 to 15 pieces. It seems clear to me that Kennedy was including this to indicate his disgust with abortions.

Kim P.: From your or... (Below threshold)
ijosha:

Kim P.:
From your original post "If a late term pregnancy was so harmful to the mother's health, then the mother should just deliver the baby and give the baby a chance to survive." are you saying she should give birth even if it will kill her?

BarneyG2000:
D&C is not the only remaining option -- how about abortion via C-section?

Not that my opinion matters (I think only women should have the final say in this), but I think that PBA should be an option of very last resort (i.e., given extreme circumstances), but should still remain an option.

ij, do you see mantis's pos... (Below threshold)
kim:

ij, do you see mantis's post at 12:15 PM. I think this point is not at controversy. What still could be at controversy is the physician's judgment with respect to threat to mother's life. I'm surprised there isn't language requiring two physicians, if only to protect them, forget about the wee human of such potential.
==================================

ijosha, The point ... (Below threshold)

ijosha,

The point I was making refers to the fact that a PBA pulls the entire baby out except for the head. If the doctor can get the shoulders out, which is the widest part of the baby, then surely, the mother can survive having the head pulled out as well. Besides, PBA's require the head to remain in the birth canal for legal, not medical, reasons. If all the baby were delivered and then killed, it would be murder. However, if the head remains in the birth canal, then it's still an unborn fetus, and, therefore, can be killed at will.

Hence, my point: PBA's aren't about the health of the mother; they're about legally killing an unwanted baby.

kim: thanks... but I was as... (Below threshold)
ijosha:

kim: thanks... but I was asking if what KP stated was in actuallity how she felt given those circumstances, not what the actual law now states. Good point about the "two physicians". Given how most see it as an execution, maybe it should be a jury of 12.

Kim P: thanks -- sorry for... (Below threshold)
ijosha:

Kim P: thanks -- sorry for my confusion (maybe if you had said something like "... should just complete the delivery of the baby ..." I would have better understood).

Obama has a comment up on h... (Below threshold)
Margee:

Obama has a comment up on his blog
http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/group/ObamaHQ/

Kim P...you nailed it! If ... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Kim P...you nailed it! If the shoulders are clear, its BORN! They're just committing murder at that point!

Uh, isn't head biggest?<br ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Uh, isn't head biggest?
===============

It certainly <a href="http:... (Below threshold)
mantis:

It certainly can be.

kim: A baby's head... (Below threshold)

kim:

A baby's head is definitely the heaviest part of the baby. Additionally, the bones in babies' heads can shift to allow for the birth process, which is why many are born with cone heads. The shoulders, however, are the widest part of the baby. Take a look at this picture. Note how the baby's shoulders are wider than the diameter of the baby's head. The point I was making is that if the baby's feet, legs, torso, arms and shoulders can be delivered safely without any harm to the mother, then why can't the baby's head also be delivered without any harm to the mother? The answer is, it can. Therein lies the deceit of this awful process.

"Note how the baby's should... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

"Note how the baby's shoulders are wider than the diameter of the baby's head."

I disagree Kim. The DIAMETER of that baby's head is definitely larger than his shoulders. Now if you meant to say that the WIDTH of the baby's head is larger, then you are probably correct, but the DIAMETER is definitely larger than the shoulders. When it comes down to it though, I don't even think the WIDTH of that babie's head is larger, or at least much larger, than the shoulders, and I believe the shoulders can be compacted and scrunched in a lot easier.

D-Hoggs, the diameter is te... (Below threshold)

D-Hoggs, the diameter is technically the width.

Oops, my apologies, I am th... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Oops, my apologies, I am thinking circumference, still in food coma from lunch!

I too think Marla is a phon... (Below threshold)
Jo:

I too think Marla is a phony. The partial birth abortion advocates are full of crap. The AMA says there would be no instance where the life of the mother is at stake.

I hope Bush gets to nominate one more SCJ. We desperately need one.

D-Hoggs, not a problem. I f... (Below threshold)

D-Hoggs, not a problem. I figured that's what you meant.

This is a great day for the... (Below threshold)

This is a great day for the pro-life movement. We have Senator Sam Brownback to thank for rejecting the Miers nomination and getting Justice Alito on the court.

Psycheout, I wonder just ho... (Below threshold)

Psycheout, I wonder just how you and John Hawkins "know" how Harriet Miers would have voted on this case?

Are you psychics or something? Or just hallucinating?

Let me get this straight...... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Let me get this straight...you don't want the govt interfering with your right to how many or what kind of gun (an object) you own...
But you have no problem with the govt interfering with the health and reproductive system of women.

Please...someone give me some valid statistics on how common this is?...

Yep..women are going to flock to the party that supports this decision...after all..they want someone to force them to do things...

oh yeah psych..as "pro-life... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

oh yeah psych..as "pro-life" ..can I assume you oppose capital punishment and our ocupation of Iraq?

..or do you pick and choose what life is important?

This was a very good Suprem... (Below threshold)

This was a very good Supreme Court decision that establishes that this gruesome procedure, sometimes used on later term babies, is completely unacceptable.

pwnt.<a href="http... (Below threshold)
jp2:
nogo said:"Let me ... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

nogo said:

"Let me get this straight...you don't want the govt interfering with your right to how many or what kind of gun (an object) you own...
But you have no problem with the govt interfering with the health and reproductive system of women."

In order for your logic to work, you must first dehumanize the baby in the womb, and pretend that it is only the rights of one person that is affected by an abortion. In fact, this unborn person has no more significance to you than an inanimate object, such as a gun. That is sick. Good luck with yourself.

So, how many of you who are... (Below threshold)
roooth:

So, how many of you who are criticizing Marla have any real medical training in childbirth and delivery? Any of you make it past high school? I only ask because you appear to be ignorant and lacking in critical thinking skills.

You all watch tv movies and listen to rightwing bs and decide that you're experts on all the things that can happen during a pregnancy.

You are not. You're idiots. If you looked at the facts you'd know that women are not getting abortions of convenience at 8 months. Only bigoted idiots would think so.

But women can face life-threatening and health threatening crisises at any time, even the last month of a pregnancy. And this finding has now put the health of those women at risk.

You callous, self-serving fools can congratulate yourselves all you want because you think you're "saving babies". You are not. You're killing women who want to be mothers.

Read Justice Ginsberg's dissent.

roooth:At least we... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

roooth:

At least we, apparently unlike you, have the reading comprehension skills to see that an exception was provided for instances where the physical life of the mother is endangered. But don't let the facts get in the way of your faux concern for mothers' "health." The argument can and has been made that abortions themselves are many times more dangerous to women than pregnancy. But again, that conclusion requires "critical thinking."

Moreover, read this if you're capable of it:

No evidence had been presented to Congress or a court showing any case in which a partial-birth abortion had been necessary or even safer as a procedure. Nevertheless, Justice Breyer was willing to strike down the bill simply because it was conceivable that this procedure, in certain instances, might be safer: No parts of the fetus would be left behind in the body, where they could cause infections. But by this reckoning, the safer procedure by far would be the "live-birth abortion," as practiced in Christ Hospital, in Oak Lawn, Illinois, and other hospitals: A child is simply delivered whole and put aside, in another room, to die.

Justice Scalia aptly rejoined, in the Stenberg case, that grafting a health exception on to this kind of bill was a requirement that extinguished the bill itself: "The Court must know (as most state legislatures banning this procedure have concluded) that demanding a 'health exception'--which requires the abortionist to assure himself that, in his expert medical judgment, this method is, in the case at hand, marginally safer than others (how can one prove the contrary beyond a reasonable doubt?)--is to give live-birth abortion free rein."

There had been ample testimony in the congressional hearings, from fetologists and doctors who performed abortions, that no affliction faced by a pregnant woman would be remedied by a partial-birth abortion. Congress revisited those hearings in order to meet the concerns of the Court. With its own reading of the record and its own assessment of the evidence, the Congress then declared, "There exists substantial record evidence upon which Congress has reached its conclusion that a ban on partial-birth abortion is not required to contain a 'health' exception, because the facts indicate that a partial-birth abortion is never necessary to preserve the health of a woman, poses serious risks to a woman's health, and lies outside the standard of medical care."

But by the time the bill on partial-birth abortion was presented for the third time, the opposition had lined up its own array of professionals, ready to affirm the safety, value, and redeeming goodness of partial-birth abortions. And so, there were statements duly offered in opposition to the act from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a cluster of groups with an evident political coloration, allied to governments or to advocacy groups: the American Public Health Association, the California Medical Association, the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals.

Judge Richard Conway Casey, considering the constitutionality of the bill in the district court in New York, offered a scrupulous review of the testimony, and he acknowledged that the defenders of partial-birth abortion were never actually able to bring forth evidence to show that the procedure was necessary because it was demonstrably safer than any alternative form of abortion.

As Casey summed up his judgment, in language not at all shaded, many of the "purported reasons" offered in support of the medical necessity of the procedure were simply not credible; "rather they [were] theoretical or false." In no case, he said, involving "maternal health conditions" could the professionals opposing the bill "point to a specific patient or actual circumstances in which D&X [dilation and extraction, or partial-birth abortion] was necessary to protect a woman's health. Hadley Arkes, "This Heartbreaking Court," First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life Oct. 2006


Medical doctor testimony on... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Medical doctor testimony on the issue:

"...partial-birth abortion employs techniques overtly dangerous to the mother, including blind instrumentation within a large vascular uterus and internal podalic version (turning the baby inside the uterus). The latter technique as an elective procedure was abandoned by the medical community fifty years ago because of danger to both mother and child.

In this age of medical litigation, any doctor who would elect to invade a woman's reproductive tract in this way, even with her permission, is putting her reproductive health and his litigation status on the block. Reproductive-tract injuries go for a big price, even with informed consent. (The patient cannot sign away her constitutional right to sue.) It is certainly less risky simply to induce labor, effecting vaginal delivery.

In light of the admission of Fredric Frigoletto, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), that there is a major lack of medical data on this abortion technique (only in Jan., 1997 did ACOG even dignify it with a formal name, intact dilation and extraction), both patient and physician should be aware that this is a maverick procedure, outside the scope of standard medical practice.

JOSEPH L. DECOOK, M.D.

Holland Gynecology & Obstetrics, PC

Holland, Mich.

The American Co... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists could identify no circumstances where a partial birth abortion "would be the only option" to save or preserve the health of the woman. The American Medical Association found that "there does not appear to be any identical situation in which intact D&X is the only appropriate procedure to induce abortion."

Wesley J. Smith, The Assault on Medical Ethics in America The Assault on Medical Ethics in America (San Francisco, CA: Encounter Books, 2000)

rooth, perhaps you can tell... (Below threshold)
kim:

rooth, perhaps you can tell us why Marla is lying? It's actually important to know. It would be highly instructive to all concerned, especially the liars.
==============================

If the woman's health is so... (Below threshold)
Rose:

If the woman's health is so in danger at the end of a pregnancy....there is something that can be done....it's called a C-Section!!! It is done all the time. I agree with you, that the reason that they wanted to continue this horrible act...vaacumming the brains out of babies...ugh....was to get rid of the baby. What in the world do the people who do these type of procedures think?? They KNOW it is a human being. Thanks

Justice Ginsburg found, in ... (Below threshold)
dr luba:

Justice Ginsburg found, in her dissent:

*Congress found that '[t]here is no credible medical evidence that partial-birth abortions are safe or are safer than other abortion procedures. But the congressional record includes letters from numerous individual physicians stating that pregnant women's health would be jeopardized under the Act, as well as statements from nine professional associations, including ACOG, the American Public Health Association, and the California Medical Association, attesting that intact D&E carries meaningful safety advantages over other methods.

*No comparable medical groups supported the ban. In fact, all of the government's own witnesses disagreed with many of the specific congressional findings.

So the law was not based on the consensus opinion of the medical community, and has no real basis in medicine and science at all.

A D&X is a medical procedure normally performed in the 2ND TRIMESTER of pregnancy, in pre-viable fetuses. These "late-term" abortions are not third trimester/viable, as many of the commenters here have suggested.

When viability has been achieved in the THIRD TRIMESTER (24 weeks plus), both mother and baby can sometimes be saved and, in the case of of life-threatening medical condition, a cesarian can be performed. But when the fetus is not viable (less than 24 weeks) this is not an good option, and merely mutilates the uterus to no good end (and risks future fertility, as well as the life of the mother and any future pregnancies via uterine rupture).

Second trimester abortions are not usually performed for "birth control"; most of them are for maternal health issues or fetal malformation/genetic disease issues.

There was a time when medical decisions were between a patient and a doctor. And there was a time when conservatives supported privacy and believed that the government should saty out of our private lives. Remember Goldwater?

And what is particularly disturbing about this decision is the suggestion that laws are OK, even if they are UNCONSTITUTIONAL, if only a small number of people are affected. Doesn't the constitution apply to everyone?

dr. luba (FACOG)

P.S. In most babies, and especially preterm babies, the head is absolutely the largest part of the body. That is why breech deliveries are so dangerous--the body delivers first, and then the head may get stuck. When this happens, the baby usually dies. Most breeches are delivered by elective cesarian section.

In very large full term babies (e.g. diabetic moms), the shoulders can be quite large, and can get stuck after the delivery of the head. This is quite rare, and can usually be overcome by various maneuvers, including breaking a shoulder bone.

Forgive me if I do not cons... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Forgive me if I do not consider Justice Ginsberg's dissent the last word on the subject. You on the Left are capable if rationalizing anything. You are leading us down the dark road to infanticide.

Did you notice that Ginsberg rallies for partial birth abortion on the grounds that it sometimes [supposedly] "carries meaningful safety advantages over other methods [of abortion]? In other words, she is not making an argument based on the health or safety of mother or child at all but rather on the idea that PBA is sometimes a more efficient method of killing an unborn, and unwanted, child. The grotesqueness of the procedure has no bearing as far as she is concerned. Big surprise. She would make an excellent Nazi.

Her opinion contradicts the weight of medical evidence to the contrary.

You people should be ashamed. You cry over a baby seal being clubbed, or a polar bear "getting stuck" on an ice flow, but shed no tears for the wanton destruction of humankind.

"And what is particularly disturbing about this decision is the suggestion that laws are OK, even if they are UNCONSTITUTIONAL, if only a small number of people are affected. Doesn't the constitution apply to everyone?"

No, what is particularly disturbing is the unconstitutionality of the federal government striking down state law on a routine basis. In this instance, they at least made a small lurch in the right direction. Leftists cannot bear to let "we the people" govern ourselves, for they are far more enlightened and intelligent than we, don't you know. The will of the Left must be imposed by edict, for the "common good" as they see it.

All i've got to say about t... (Below threshold)
weirdname:

All i've got to say about this is that I'm glad that the law has been made to stop PBA...it's such horrid form of birth control.
There are so many people out there who can't have their own children and want to adopt a baby of their own. Your not only killing a human being, but preventing someone else's chance at happiness because of your own selfishness.

I don't agree with any type... (Below threshold)
Kathy Horn:

I don't agree with any type of abortion at all. If the child doesn't have a right to live, then neither does the mother.

Passing this ban is one of ... (Below threshold)
KHCO67:

Passing this ban is one of the best things that Bush has done. I have one thing to say about the mothers that have this done. Its murder. If you dont want kids, stay off your back, or be responsible. To the Doctors that choose to be murderers...as far as I know...you take an oath. Dr's are supposed to help people, not MURDER people. Oh...thats right...you dont consider them people because they havent taken a breath yet." Is that right? It's ok though...they are in a better place, and some day...some day your judgment day will come, and you will see. There is only one use for people like you. God help you.

it is not right for people ... (Below threshold)
alexandra:

it is not right for people to have abortion you are killing a human bean that is inside of you and waitting to have a family and to get to know who made them the babys have feelings to even though you don't know it. in a matter of fact if you are going to do a abortion WHY HAVING SEX and get pregnant if you are going to do a horrible thing like that people might not even talk to you cause of the thing you done well that is my opinion




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