December 28, 2010

A pro-abortion rights spokesman cries out against a Supreme Court decision that's like a planted seed, growing and eventually "popping out."

There's new state-level legislation banning abortion after the 20th week, premised on the notion of fetal pain and building on the legal precedent in Gonzales v. Carhart. (Carhart upheld the federal statute banning "partial birth" abortion.)
"I believe the decision was like planting a bunch of seeds, and we're just starting to see the shoots popping out of the ground," said Roger Evans, who is in charge of litigation for Planned Parenthood of America.
A man has the right to choose... his metaphors.

***

The linked article, by WaPo's Robert Barnes, goes on at length about the conservative/liberal balance on the Supreme Court, the importance of Justice O'Connor's retirement, and the things Justice Kennedy wrote in Gonzales v. Carhart. (Kennedy would in all likelihood cast the deciding vote if there were a 5-4 case on the subject of abortion in the with the current array of Supreme Court Justices.)
Kennedy's [opinion for the majority in Carhart] was shot through with references to government's interest in protecting the unborn and in making sure women knew the consequences of their actions.
But Kennedy made it clear that the pregnant woman gets to make the final call about whether to abort a pre-viability fetus. A ban on abortions after 20 weeks is plainly inconsistent with that. In Carhart, there was absolutely no question that woman got to exercise her choice to end the pregnancy. The issue was only about whether one way of removing the fetus could be banned (when another method remained available).

23 comments:

Oligonicella said...

One of my favorite things to do with strident abortionists is to start describing the time sequence for fetal activity and morphology. They very, very quickly become uninterested in continuing.

Skyler said...

The Supreme Court purposefully refused to balance the right of the father or the child when declaring the mother's right to murder the child.

Perhaps this will finally lead to getting the court to take responsibility for balancing those rights.

If I recall, Casey only allowed abortion to the point of viability. Medical technology certainly has pushed viability to the 20 week point. Since the court declared that a 19 year period had established an inviolable precedent since Roe, then the law already forbids abortions to the point where the fetus can be viable, and 20 weeks is easily within that window.

The earlier period of viability and the absence of any stigma for unwed motherhood, and the easy availability of birth control would seem to work against a completely unfettered right to "privacy" when holding women responsible for getting pregnant.

MB said...

The issue of pain and suffering as well as sanitation if a tactic used to try and eliminate capital punishment. (I found the sanitation argument odd since the life expectancy is so short.) Of course burning from an IV injection and possible infiltration is OK for therapy but unacceptable for punishment. If pain and suffering is a consideration for a convicted felon, should not it be a concern for an organism with nervous system? BTW, it used to be taught that neonates don’t feel pain. I though this was concept was stupid. Feeling pain and remembering pain are two different things.

BJK said...

Wasn't the Roe v. Wade rationale itself grown out of the seeds planted in the Griswold v. CT case?

The Constitutional right to privacy came popping out of the penumbras, after all.

Salamandyr said...

So, if the law declared 23 weeks (the earliest conceivable viability date) you think it would pass Constitutional muster? Is that extra 3 weeks of kill your baby time really so critical?

Richard Dolan said...

"But Kennedy made it clear that the pregnant woman gets to make the final call about whether to abort a pre-viability fetus."

"Clear" isn't a word that leaps to mind in describing whatever principles are supposedly in play, and it is especially misplaced if the point is to devine how Kennedy might re-balance those principles in the next go-around. Constitutional decisionmaking isn't supposed to turn on whatever might be tugging Kennedy this way or that. But that's what happens when the decisionmaking has no anchor.

This latest round in the abortion wars has the makings of a good sports-watching-cum-bookie experience (it's had them for close to 40 years), but it's a strange way to run a country. And it's proven to be a total failure as a way to establish a stable national policy -- always just one vote (with Kennedy, half a vote?) away for a complete reversal.

SteveR said...

The "notion of pain" is very inconvenient to the pro abortion position.

MadisonMan said...

The "notion of pain" is very inconvenient to the pro abortion position.

How much pain should the fetus incubator be expected to endure?

Scrutineer said...

In Carhart, the there was absolutely no question that woman got to exercise her choice to end the pregnancy.

Why "got to exercise her choice to end the pregnancy" rather than "got to end the pregnancy"? All rights involve choosing to do or not to do something. There's something strange about applying the language of "choice" exclusively to this right.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I'm strongly against abortion, even pre-viability, and I think that Roe and Casey are travesties.

That said, I thought that Kennedy's meandering, feel-good, paternalistic opinion in Gonzales v. Carhart was completely ridiculous and absurd.

- Lyssa

AJ Lynch said...

The name, Planned Parenthood, always make me think of Pravda cause that is how Pravda would have described a group which was actually pushing free and easily available abortions on demand.

SteveR said...

How much pain should the fetus incubator be expected to endure?

A separate discussion

MInTheGap said...

I love the euphemistic way that we cover the killing of a separate individual "one way of removing the fetus"-- as if the fetus were an organ that we were removing, and not the end of a life.

When you start talking about the baby feeling pain, you lose some of your moral ground defining it as less than human, and from there you will find that it's more difficult to justify why killing the individual 20 weeks before birth is different than 20 weeks after.

jimbino said...

So why do we withhold our objection to severe pain suffered by the young boy child upon being sexually mutilated just after birth?

Until we deal with that, we have no right to prohibit imagined suffering in a mass of fetal cells.

Old RPM Daddy said...

So why do we withhold our objection to severe pain suffered by the young boy child upon being sexually mutilated just after birth?

Well, circumcision and abortion are exactly the same thing, after all.

HDHouse said...

"One of my favorite things to do with strident abortionists is to start describing the time sequence for fetal activity and morphology..."

Is this a frequesnt conversation? Do people bring up abortion often where you live? do you study a lot?

AJ Lynch said...

Equating abortion with circumcision indicates a person has developed a faulty, defective logic gene. This defect is commonly found in far left librul dopes.

Synova said...

If a woman has only three days to decide to give up her baby when it's born, why does she need nine months to decide to abort it?

Do you know what a 20 week cut-off does? It takes away the right of parents to force their daughter to have an abortion.

Salamandyr said...

Do you know what a 20 week cut-off does? It takes away the right of parents to force their daughter to have an abortion.

That reminds me. Has anyone heard of an instance where Planned Parenthood helped a girl keep her child when parents or boyfriend were forcing her to abort?

Oligonicella said...

HDHouse --

"Is this a frequesnt conversation?"

As frequent as I meet strident abortionists.

"Do people bring up abortion often where you live?"

Frequency of topic is not relevant to my response to same.

"do you study a lot?"

My entire life.

Other than a nice little chat, why do you ask?

Saint Croix said...

Kennedy made it clear that the pregnant woman gets to make the final call about whether to abort a pre-viability fetus. A ban on abortions after 20 weeks is plainly inconsistent with that.

The problem with the viability standard is that it is mush. It's not a standard at all. Can any baby survive in Dr. Carhart's care? Does he have an incubator in his clinic? Does he have bottles of milk? Is he actually trying to keep that baby alive?

What Nebraska is attempting to do is actually keep viable infants alive. Their 20-week rule--and states have attempted this before--is at attempt to outlaw the most appalling abortions, the ones that are most clearly homicidal.

The preemie record at survival is 21 weeks. What is so unconstitutional about trying to make sure doctors aren't butchering a baby who could possibly survive in an incubator? And how do you know, really know, if she would survive if you don't make the attempt to keep her alive?

Is it good medical ethics to assume your patient would not survive, so you might as well kill her?

Why not induce labor, deliver the baby, and put her in an incubator? Your pregnancy is terminated. That's what you want, right?

And maybe the baby will live.

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