Stunning Supreme Court Decision
Esther Kaplan printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 12:36:12 PM EST
I'm stunned and devastated by the Supreme Court's decision today to uphold the shoddily written piece of legislation known as the Partial Birth Abortion Ban. The Christian right's efforts to stack the courts with opponents of reproductive rights has born fruit today, as has their manipulative propaganda war to demonize abortion procedures and the women who choose them. The Family Research Council, in an email alert this evening, calls the decision "a long-awaited triumph, marked by years of hard work on Capitol Hill, in legal briefs, through congressional testimony, and countless publications aimed at educating Americans."
As Eve Gartner of Planned Parenthood points out, "This ruling flies in the face of 30 years of Supreme Court precedent and the best interest of women's health and safety." It's also a body blow to the right of women to control our own destinies. The AP story, among others, points out that six federal courts have ruled that the law unconstitutionally restricts a woman's right to an abortion. Most procedures performed after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are threatened by the intentionally vague wording of this law, and currently around 100,000 abortions are performed in this country each year after that point. The Supreme Court's decision will mean hundreds of thousands of women facing the decision about whether to terminate a pregnancy during the second trimester--whether because they are minors facing parental consent laws that delayed their ability to abort or because they are women facing negative amnio results or for dozens of other tough reasons--will now be burdened by the prospect of breaking the law, if they can even find a doctor brave enough to perform the procedure.

Stunned and devestated, indeed. But really, surprised? With this lineup? It's a very cold wind blowing, long after this Bush is gone.

by mreyn on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 01:11:29 PM EST
Well the law itself is so poorly written, packed with illegitimate terminology and fake science, that I imagined the court would have trouble upholding it even if most of them really wanted to. But ideology triumphed for these "strict constructionists."

by Esther Kaplan on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 02:18:37 PM EST

in the decision and the concurring opinion.

suggesting at once the limits of the decision and the prospects of future challenges. This may turn out to be cold comfort, but it is worth considering nevertheless.

The other thing that is worth thinking about as we go along is that the reason there is a federal law banning PBAs is because Congress voted for it, and that these people were elected.  It is long past time for those concerned to develop a far better electoral strategy and capacity at all levels.

I have long argued that "message" is not enough in a constitutional democracy where power is distributed based on elections, not on PR. As important as good communications is, it does not overcome a well organized opposition bent on using the tools of electoral politics to gain power and make policy.

by Frederick Clarkson on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 04:57:03 PM EST

...another kossack -- yours truly -- sees this decision and realizes that if something like it had been implemented when I was an infant, I would have grown up without a mother. I posted my diary both here and there, and several other places as well.

by wiscmass on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 05:54:33 PM EST

The swing vote on this assault on women's rights is a LIAR! Fits right in with this LYING administration.

In July 2000 Alito voted to strike down New Jersey's ban on mid-term abortions. "The New Jersey statute," he wrote, "lacks an exception for the preservation of the health of the mother." In his confirmation hearings he said he would "respectful of precedent."

Yesterday he disregarded not only his own opinion, but he disregarded the president laid down but the Supreme Court in 2000, and joined the other four Catholics on the court to support the Vatican's dictates. This was a theological not legal decision.

by PlacitasRoy on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 12:58:58 AM EST

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