Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

Supreme Court upholds law banning partial birth abortion

Old 04-18-07, 12:10 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Madison, WI ("77 square miles surrounded by reality")
Posts: 30,005
Supreme Court upholds law banning partial birth abortion

I didn't see this posted.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...&type=politics

Court Upholds Ban on Abortion Procedure

By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

(04-18) 08:04 PDT WASHINGTON (AP) --

The Supreme Court upheld the nationwide ban on a controversial abortion procedure Wednesday, handing abortion opponents the long-awaited victory they expected from a more conservative bench.

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 administration defended the law as drawing a bright line between abortion and infanticide.

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.

Abortion rights groups as well as the leading association of obstetricians and gynecologists have said the procedure sometimes is the safest for a woman. They also said that such a ruling could threaten most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, although government lawyers and others who favor the ban said there are alternate, more widely used procedures that remain legal.

The outcome is likely to spur efforts at the state level to place more restrictions on abortions.

"I applaud the Court for its ruling today, and my hope is that it sets the stage for further progress in the fight to ensure our nation's laws respect the sanctity of unborn human life," said Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, Republican leader in the House of Representatives.

Said Eve Gartner of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America: "This ruling flies in the face of 30 years of Supreme Court precedent and the best interest of women's health and safety. ... This ruling tells women that politicians, not doctors, will make their health care decisions for them." She had argued that point before the justices.

More than 1 million abortions are performed in the United States each year, according to recent statistics. Nearly 90 percent of those occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and are not affected by Wednesday's ruling.

Six federal courts have said the law that was in focus Wednesday is an impermissible restriction on a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.

The law bans a method of ending a pregnancy, rather than limiting when an abortion can be performed.

"Today's decision is alarming," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in dissent. She said the ruling "refuses to take ... seriously" previous Supreme Court decisions on abortion.

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."

She was joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, David Souter and John Paul Stevens.

The procedure at issue involves partially removing the fetus intact from a woman's uterus, then crushing or cutting its skull to complete the abortion.

Abortion opponents say the law will not reduce the number of abortions performed because an alternate method dismembering the fetus in the uterus is available and, indeed, much more common.

In 2000, the court with key differences in its membership struck down a state ban on partial-birth abortions. Writing for a 5-4 majority at that time, Justice Breyer said the law imposed an undue burden on a woman's right to make an abortion decision.

The Republican-controlled Congress responded in 2003 by passing a federal law that asserted the procedure is gruesome, inhumane and never medically necessary to preserve a woman's health. That statement was designed to overcome the health exception to restrictions that the court has demanded in abortion cases.

But federal judges in California, Nebraska and New York said the law was unconstitutional, and three appellate courts agreed. The Supreme Court accepted appeals from California and Nebraska, setting up Wednesday's ruling.

Kennedy's dissent in 2000 was so strong that few court watchers expected him to take a different view of the current case.

Kennedy acknowledged continuing disagreement about the procedure within the medical community. In the past, courts have cited that uncertainty as a reason to allow the disputed procedure.

But Kennedy said, "The law need not give abortion doctors unfettered choice in the course of their medical practice."

He said the more common abortion method, involving dismemberment, is beyond the reach of the federal ban.

While the court upheld the law against a broad attack on its constitutionality, Kennedy said the court could entertain a challenge in which a doctor found it necessary to perform the banned procedure on a patient suffering certain medical complications.

Doctors most often refer to the procedure as a dilation and extraction or an intact dilation and evacuation abortion.

The law allows the procedure to be performed when a woman's life is in jeopardy.

The cases are Gonzales v. Carhart, 05-380, and Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood, 05-1382.
movielib is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 12:22 PM
  #2  
X
Administrator
 
X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1987
Location: AA-
Posts: 10,739
Do you have an opinion on this that would help start a discussion?
X is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 12:23 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Th0r S1mpson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 36,443
Dismemberment?
Th0r S1mpson is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 12:49 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 122,938
Too bad Planned Parenthood didn't raise the commerce clause issue (although I would be shocked were a liberal organziation such as PPFA to do so). Had they, given Justice Thomas' concurrence, they probably would have won.

Originally Posted by Justice Thomas
I join the Court's opinion because it accurately applies current jurisprudence, including Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U. S. 833 (1992). I write separately to reiterate my view that the Court's abortion jurisprudence, including Casey and Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113 (1973), has no basis in the Constitution. See Casey, supra, at 979 (SCALIA, J., concurring in judgment in part and dissenting in part); Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U. S.914, 980-983 (2000) (THOMAS, J., dissenting). I also note that whether the Act constitutes a permissible exercise of Congress' power under the Commerce Clause is not before the Court. The parties did not raise or brief that issue; it is outside the question presented; and the lower courts did not address it. See Cutter v. Wilkinson, 544 U. S. 709, 727, n. 2 (2005) (THOMAS, J., concurring).
Red Dog is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 12:50 PM
  #5  
Admin-Thanos
 
VinVega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
Posts: 31,602
In the grand scheme of things, this won't mean that much other than emboldening pro-lifers. Partial birth abortions are not widely used.
VinVega is online now  
Old 04-18-07, 01:02 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: in da cloud
Posts: 26,196
do they really stab the fetus when they take it out to make sure it's dead?
al_bundy is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 01:04 PM
  #7  
X
Administrator
 
X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1987
Location: AA-
Posts: 10,739
Originally Posted by VinVega
In the grand scheme of things, this won't mean that much other than emboldening pro-lifers. Partial birth abortions are not widely used.
I disagree. They are very widely used to raise money for political campaigns.
X is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 01:22 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 25,062
Originally Posted by al_bundy
do they really stab the fetus when they take it out to make sure it's dead?
Yes, but they usually let the mother do it.
Tracer Bullet is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 02:17 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 68,522
Originally Posted by VinVega
In the grand scheme of things, this won't mean that much other than emboldening pro-lifers. Partial birth abortions are not widely used.
There are a hell of a lot more than the pro-abortionist crowd (Planned Parenthood & others) admitted to before Congress a few years ago.

They were caught in the lie.

There were more performed in one state than what the above said was performed in the entire country.
classicman2 is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 02:52 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 20,726
PP lied about something like 90% of abortions were done in the first tri?
Ranger is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 02:52 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk God
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,201
Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
School shootings are not widely occurrent. I guess we shouldn't be concerned with those either.
Hopefully the Supreme Court doesn't overturn the illegality of it.
kvrdave is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 03:29 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Malvern, PA
Posts: 5,013
Not widely used, but glad there is finally a decision upholding the banning of it.
Goldblum is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 04:43 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
GreenMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 5,377


Thanks, Supreme Court, for answering a philosophical question of the centuries and deciding where life begins for us. And thanks for mandating that people must carry babies in their womb against their will.

I need a flag smiley to commemorate how great and free our country is. Looks like Bush and the Christian Right are indeed getting their version of America.
GreenMonkey is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 05:44 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 3,236
Anti-abortionists, enjoy the victory while you can. Remember this decision when you hear the words: President Hilliary Rodham Clinton. This one decision will push more undecideds to vote for her than any other issue.

Medical decisions should be left to medical professionals, not the federal government. I can't imagine any woman electing to have this procedure unless it was absolutely necessary. Now that the crack in Roe v. Wade has been found, expect further attacks on earlier term abortions.

I held my nose and voted for Republicans in the last 2 presidential elections. I won't do that again.

- I ignored their reliance on religious principles instead of science.

- I passed off the ban on stem cell research as a temporary speedbump.

- I didn't concern myself over the restrictions on cloning research.

- I laughed at the money spent on abstinence education instead of safe sex education.

- I scoffed at the Kansas school board dressing up creationism as science.

- I ignored public health policy allowing the girls cancer vaccine to be optional.

However, this decision concerns me. It honestly scares the shit out of me. I have a feeling that a lot of other people may feel the same way.
Pistol Pete is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 05:48 PM
  #15  
Moderator
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 70,839
But don't most polls show that most Americans against this kind of abortion? Not sure it's going to sway the undecided like you think it is.
Groucho is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 05:51 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk God
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,201
They mandate that I can't speed, take drugs, and that I must pay taxes against my will, so I don't quite think this is the first time.

But I am prepared to hear how this means the end of legal abortions, and run for the hills, etc. etc.

Last edited by kvrdave; 04-18-07 at 05:53 PM.
kvrdave is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 06:06 PM
  #17  
bhk
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Right of Atilla The Hun
Posts: 19,749
This procedure certainly is not a medical decision that is done in an emergency. 3-4 weeks before this is done, a fetus can be delivered viable with a C-Section.
- I ignored their reliance on religious principles instead of science.

- I passed off the ban on stem cell research as a temporary speedbump.
Interesting views given that science has produced actual cures with adult stem cells and nothing but tumors with embryonic stem cells.
bhk is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 06:12 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: MI
Posts: 25,054
Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
Good news! Partial birth abortion is an abomination one would expect to read about in 14th century Russian history, not to find still practiced in a supposedly civilized nation.
Yes, I think we can all agree the alternate, still available, is a much more civilized approach:
Abortion opponents say the law will not reduce the number of abortions performed because an alternate method dismembering the fetus in the uterus is available and, indeed, much more common.
OldDude is online now  
Old 04-18-07, 06:32 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 3,236
Originally Posted by bhk
This procedure certainly is not a medical decision that is done in an emergency. 3-4 weeks before this is done, a fetus can be delivered viable with a C-Section.
That's why I have such a hard time wrapping my brain around why a woman would want to have it unless she had no other choice. Do women actually carry a child almost to term and then decide not to have it? I would hope that it is only performed when there is no other good choice.

I have problem with the federal government restricting the options that doctors have when treating a woman who may be in mortal danger.

Originally Posted by bhk
Interesting views given that science has produced actual cures with adult stem cells and nothing but tumors with embryonic stem cells.
I don't know if that is true, but if so perhaps it is because research with embryonic stems cells is so restricted. Only existing lines of stem cells may be used for federally funded research. These lines are very old and are significantly degraded. Fresh stems cells from new lines may yield better results.

Not allowing the use of federal money for stem cell research means that labs have to carefully trace the lab equipment and salaries of researchers. This is to make certain that nothing paid for with federal funds is ever used for federally-restricted research. Since most money for this type of research does come from the federal government, setting up an entirely new lab with all privately purchased equipment is a very expensive endeavor. It is so complex that most research labs simply don't try. The reward is not worth the risk of making a mistake and losing all your federal funding.

Not allowing the use of federal funds for stem cell research effectively kills the science in the US.
Pistol Pete is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 06:40 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: MI
Posts: 25,054
Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
Well, the true alternate method is either the woman doesn't get pregnant, gets a very early abortion, or puts the baby up for adoption. Teach kids about contraception and condoms. What you outlined above is an unmitigated brutality... I'm speechless.

Agreed, but also some don'ts:
*Don't picket abortion clinics, murder abortion doctors, blow up clinics, or harass women who go to them.
*Don't force women to make two trips, wait 24 hours, look at ultrasounds, etc.
*Don't allow pharmacists to refuse to fill legal prescriptions for Plan B. Refuse to fill, lose your license.

The extreme efforts to deny access to abortion causes some of the problem.
OldDude is online now  
Old 04-18-07, 06:47 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,981
Originally Posted by Pistol Pete
Medical decisions should be left to medical professionals, not the federal government.

- I passed off the ban on stem cell research as a temporary speedbump.
- I ignored public health policy allowing the girls cancer vaccine to be optional.
well which is it? Should the feds be involved or not? You can't say leave it to docs and then want the fed (or state) to require vaccinations...or fund research if they dont have a say in the type
Venusian is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 06:49 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,981
Originally Posted by Thor Simpson
Dismemberment?
want to know more? read the last SC partial birth abortion case. One of the dissents covers it in detail including a case where it was botched and the baby was born without a limb because that part had already been dismembered
Venusian is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 06:50 PM
  #23  
Admin-Thanos
 
VinVega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
Posts: 31,602
Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
School shootings are not widely occurrent. I guess we shouldn't be concerned with those either.
I think things were fine the way they were concerning both abortions and the gun control debate that has sprung up from the VA Tech shootings, so yeah, I'm not that concerned with the debates about either.
VinVega is online now  
Old 04-18-07, 06:57 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,981
From Kennedy's dissent in Stenberg v. Carhart

As described by Dr. Carhart, the D&E procedure requires the abortionist to use instruments to grasp a portion (such as a foot or hand) of a developed and living fetus and drag the grasped portion out of the uterus into the vagina. Id., at 61. Dr. Carhart uses the traction created by the opening between the uterus and vagina to dismember the fetus, tearing the grasped portion away from the remainder of the body. Ibid. The traction between the uterus and vagina is essential to the procedure because attempting to abort a fetus without using that traction is described by Dr. Carhart as "pulling the cat's tail" or "drag[ging] a string across the floor, you'll just keep dragging it. It's not until something grabs the other end that you are going to develop traction." Id., at 62. The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn from limb from limb. Id., at 63. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off. Dr. Carhart agreed that "[w]hen you pull out a piece of the fetus, let's say, an arm or a leg and remove that, at the time just prior to removal of the portion of the fetus, ... the fetus [is] alive." Id., at 62. Dr. Carhart has observed fetal heartbeat via ultrasound with "extensive parts of the fetus removed," id., at 64, and testified that mere dismemberment of a limb does not always cause death because he knows of a physician who removed the arm of a fetus only to have the fetus go on to be born "as a living child with one arm." Id., at 63. At the conclusion of a D&E abortion no intact fetus remains. In Dr. Carhart's words, the abortionist is left with "a tray full of pieces." Id., at 125.
Venusian is offline  
Old 04-18-07, 07:30 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: in da cloud
Posts: 26,196
so what exactly is the medical goal of a procedure like this?
al_bundy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.