Like clockwork, the people who want to preserve a woman’s right to slaughter her child in mid-birth have begun wailing about today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding a ban on partial birth abortion. I’m feeling a delicious mix of gratitude and schadenfreude. I’ll update this post as the spluttering continues.
This ruling flies in the face of 30 years of Supreme Court precedent and the best interest of women’s health and safety. Today the court took away an important option for doctors who seek to provide the best and safest care to their patients. This ruling tells women that politicians, not doctors, will make their health care decisions for them.
This propels women’s right to abortion and birth control to the center of the 2008 presidential election. Elections matter: this ban is a direct consequence of a Republican, ideologically driven president and Congress, which ignored the science-based opinions of such leading medical authorities as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in passing this ban and signing it into law.
Already, the decision in Gonzales v. Carhart will mean that women with troubled pregnancies will be forced into more dangerous situations, putting their future ability to have safe and healthy pregnancies at risk. Older women will be especially affected, as amniocentesis results are released later in the pregnancy. The health and safety of adolescents and pre-teens will also be more at risk, as they are often forced to delay their decisions about whether to abort because of lack of control over their own lives or inadequate funds.
The replacement of moderate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor with ultraconservative Justice Samuel Alito has brought the Court to the brink of judicial disaster.
Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon:
It’s a strike at the concept that women have independent value. If you reduce a woman to a baby factory, then one who needs a late term abortion is malfunctioning in her purpose somehow, so if she dies, she’s scrap metal, I suppose. Or scrap blood and tissue, as it were. I hate to be blunt like this, but there it is. They skipped over the preliminaries about what kind of rights women should have and attacked the idea that our very existence and health matters if we’ve failed in our duties as fetal incubators.