Wed 22 Feb, 2006 10:51 am
The "New and revised" supreme court has entered the abortion wars.
Court Will Review 'Partial Birth' Ban
By Charles Lane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 22, 2006; Page A01The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to decide whether a 2003 federal ban on the procedure that critics call "partial birth" abortion is constitutional, setting the stage for its most significant ruling on abortion rights in almost 15 years.Without comment or recorded dissent, the court granted the Bush administration's request to review a lower court's ruling striking down the law, which passed Congress overwhelmingly but has yet to be enforced.
The case will test the new balance of abortion opinion on a court whose membership now includes two Bush appointees, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. Given their conservative leanings and the court's past vote count on the issue, the federal ban's chances appear strong
Do you think the Roe v Wade will in the end survive?
Yes, I do. It will survive quite nicely I think.
It never ceases to amaze me that the religious right that opposes abortion is mostly made up of men and post menopausal church ladies.
I think Roe is bound to fall. It is, after all, as logical as the law that keeps a policeman from arresting a drinker because a paper bag happens to obscure the label of the drinker's 40 oz.
Unless Congress gets it together, which isn't likely given the 3+ decades of pussyfooting since Roe, individual states will eventually regulate abortion. Some states will have no restrictions, as New York does today. And some, like South Dakota, and territories, like Guam, will make laws to restrict it.
I think that the statistics, once digested, in this link indicate that easy abortion promotes promiscuity:
If that is the case then some restictions on abortion might very well improve our society. I would like that.
It never ceases to amaze me that the religious right that opposes abortion is mostly made up of men and post menopausal church ladies.
Paull, whoever says abortion is "easy" has a thing or two to learn. I find the idea that a woman would find it more convenient to have an abortion than to take a pill absurd. But there's another whole thread for that talk.
I'm curious what will happen with that S. Dakota law that seems tailor made for a supreme court challenge.
I agree with you that Roe will probably fall, but I am not totally convinced of it. If it does, one can only guess what Congress will do. If it does not fall, the reason will be that the nation has come to terms with the availability of abortion and will not support a return to the mind-set of 30 years ago. We need a dialogue on this issue, but our political discussions have become so polarized that one wonders how that talk could take place without shouting.
I have heard convincing arguments that Roe was bad law and that abortion should be regulated by each state's own legislative decisions or through referendum. The effect of this would be a patchwork and a truly messy situation, with women traveling to states with more lenient laws if they had the means to do so. It brings to mind the charade of thousands of Irish women flying to England every year to get the abortion that is illegal in Ireland.
I am not an advocate of abortion but I think that the option ought to be out there, with restrictions that satisfy a state's populace, and I believe wholeheartedly that Plan B should be available over the counter. The arguments that Plan B would encourage promiscuity are short-sighted indeed. If a person believes that life begins at conception and before implantation, then she does not have to use Plan B. If a woman believes that a life is not created until the fertilized egg is implanted, then she should be able to stop an unwanted pregnancy that has occurred by mistake or by defective birth control or whatever reason.
Countries that have made abortion illegal have the highest rate of abortion in the world. Women have been aborting unwanted pregnancies since the beginning of time, and the problem does not go away when the procedure is criminalized. In my mother's time (she was born in 1908,) the family doctor usually "took care" of the problem with a D & C. There was also a chain of Florence Crittendon homes that would shelter a pregnant woman for the last four months of pregnancy and then put the child up for adoption. My mother told me that young women in trouble went to "visit an aunt" for those months or devised a similar cover story. I am unaware of any such homes as Florence Crittenden available to women in crisis today.
The answer is education -- teaching ethics from the earliest years of elementary school -- and action against proverty, as well as a strong network of adoption options and support for women who want to have the baby but are unable to keep and raise it.
Kara, thank you for that post. I really want a resolution to this question before I pass away. At 52, I have 3 daughters, none of whom I would like to have a baby they do not want. I have 2 grandchildren for whom I would like the choice to be clear. OTOH, the over strident pro abortion side seems to have no bounds, nor conscience.
I would like to know why you assert that places that have " made abortion illegal have the highest rate of abortion". I am not expert, but I recall the Soviet Union being particularly efficient and efficacious with abortion and now, as I posted above, New York is as well.
At present, Roe demands that medical procedures not be questioned; that an appendix and fetus are the same since they are removed from citizen, who has a specific right to privacy. Personally I think that is ludicrous, and I would like to find a middle ground that upsets both fringes equally.
Most states already have in place the means to execute prisoners. That is a long and drawn out document, no doubt. What I would like each state to do is to determine what formulary wording would be necessary to abort the unborn. It might be as simple as a 3x5 card witnessed by a nurse, asserting that the fetus is a goner. Some states might like a more involved document, and some might demand that the life of the mother be in danger. Some, as I noted above, might not allow it at all. But it won't take an airplane flight to fix that, as it does in the UK. At any rate, the constitutional requirement that life not be taken without "due process" would be satisfied.
Then, we could get on to more important things, like, when is Al Davis going to retire???
paull, this is the beginning of a piece in the NYTimes last December. I did not copy it all -- it is quite long -- but I can do so.
December 3, 2005
Push to Loosen Abortion Laws in Latin America
By JUAN FORERO
PAMPLONA, Colombia - In this tradition-bound Roman Catholic town one day in April, two young women did what many here consider unthinkable: pregnant and scared, they took a cheap ulcer medication known to induce abortions. When the drug left them bleeding, they were treated at a local emergency room - then promptly arrested.
Insisting that abortion was rare, Pamplona's conservative leaders thought the case was over. Instead, the episode reverberated throughout Colombia and helped to galvanize a national movement to roll back laws that make abortion illegal, even to save a mother's life.
Latin America holds some of the world's most stringent abortion laws, yet it still has the developing world's highest rate of abortions - a rate that is far higher even than in Western Europe, where abortion is widely and legally available.
Increasingly, however, women's rights groups are mounting challenges in courts and on the streets to liberalize laws that in some countries ban abortion under any circumstances. At least one major case with implications for the entire region could be decided in December.
So far, no country has dropped its ban. But the effort, spurred by the high mortality rate among Latin American women who undergo clandestine abortions, has begun to loosen once ironclad restrictions and opened the door to more change.
Although it may seem small by United States standards, it is a seismic shift for a region where abortion is readily available only in Cuba and a few other Caribbean nations. "There is a real trend for change, particularly in South America," said Marianne Mollman, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, which supports efforts to decriminalize abortion in Latin America. "I think it's the end of the realization that the criminalization of abortion doesn't lead to less abortion, but that it leads to a lot of preventable problems."
In Brazil, the world's largest Roman Catholic country, women's groups successfully pushed for new regulations this year that permit a rape victim to get an abortion without providing a police report to doctors, as was required. The government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva also formed a commission this year that called for legalizing abortion up to the third month of pregnancy. Congress is debating the plan.
The Raiders' Al Davis? And that would be relevant to....?
I have said it before,but I will say it again.
IF Roe is overturned,that will NOT end abortion.
It will simply send it to the state level,where the voters of each state will determine what they want.
Thats how it should have been in the first place.
I have marched in DC to uphold our rights of choice.
What are we thinking? We allow fripperies like Katrina and Abramoff to distract us from the most important right established for women in the last fifty years.
If the Supreme Court does not uphold Roe vs. Wade and does not rein in the neanderthals from the Right, this country is on the road to ruin!!
To refer to a post a few pages back, I have always felt a kinship to Frank Apisa -- he being unable, as I am, to enjoy the comfort of religious faith -- but I do not agree with him on the issue of abortion. This is not a simple question to which there is one answer.
Mele, abortion is not nothing.
Women have the absolute last word on what to do with their bodies and thus whether to abort a pregnancy? That would seem to be the definition of freedom. It is not that easy. No person, woman or man, has absolute freedom as to the treatment or disposal of her life and body. We are not allowed legally to commit suicide, a freedom that for some people would be the ultimate one.
Women have always been influenced or pressured by boyfriends and husbands to either abort or keep a baby, depending on the man's needs or desires. If there are no restrictions on abortion, a man can argue that it is no crime to abort a baby and that society must agree with him or there would be a law against it. (And damnit, Woman, you better get rid of that baby if you know what is good for you...) If there are restrictive laws, or even a prohibitive one, a woman has a legal argument on her side when she wants to keep rather than abort a baby. She can claim, to her partner, that it is a criminal act and that she will not do it.
The pressure to keep a baby, when a woman wants to abort, is a more complicated issue. If the man is seen only as a stud, he is not really a partner in the decision. But if the woman and man are married and believe themselves by that joining to be "one flesh," then the issue must be resolved between them, with this spiritual tie as a backdrop.
I do not see anti-abortionists as raving, right-wing ideologues. Most of them are principled people who believe that life begins at conception -- the life may be potential, not actual, in the earliest stages -- and thus see abortion as a form of murder. The fact that the embryo cannot live outside the uterus for some months is not an issue for them; the embryo is still a potential human being with a potential independent existence. If one interprets reality this way, then abortion for any reason is criminal, even in the case of rape or incest.
I do think that anti-abortionists can be appealed to with certain rational arguments. One is that they must accept that everyone in the country does not agree with them and that those non-agreers have rights, too. They might see that abortion with restrictions -- parental notification (which iteself carries problems,) time limitation to first trimester, education or notification by doctor or clinic that you are taking a grave step and not just offing what is a problem for you -- might serve many of their purposes. They might accept that most women would not have an abortion under any circumstances but that a large majority of even those women believe that the option ought to be out there.
We are not allowed legally to commit suicide, a freedom that for some people would be the ultimate one.
When did it become illegal to commit suicide?
If one interprets reality this way, then abortion for any reason is criminal, even in the case of rape or incest.
Joe, correct me if I'm wrong but I think it is a criminal act to attempt suicide. Perhaps seldom prosecuted.
Does one get capital punishment for a successful suicide
LOL, au. I have often pondered how one is prosecuted for trying to commit suicide. Is the upper that you have survived and can be prosecuted, or is it a downer that you are still alive?
au, I'd be interested in your thoughts on the issue of the thread that you started.
Curiously, as of 1963, six states still considered attempted suicide a crime--North and South Dakota, Washington, New Jersey, Nevada, and Oklahoma. Of course they didn't take matters as seriously as the Roman emperor Hadrian, who in 117 AD declared attempted suicide by soldiers a form of desertion and made it--no joke this time--a capital offense.
(Just pulled this off Google.)
IMO Roe v Wade is in it's death throes. The supreme court as cases are brought to it will make decisions that will render it virtually dead. I should add that big brotherism is alive and getting more potent in the US as time passes. And along with it the civil rights of american citizens.
Joe, correct me if I'm wrong but I think it is a criminal act to attempt suicide.
Well, you didn't say that it was a crime to attempt
to commit suicide, you said "we are not allowed legally to commit suicide." In any event, I doubt if any state still has laws that prohibit someone from attempting to commit suicide.