Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Roe v. Wade: The Beginning of the End

A law that lets a woman die rather than allow her to abort a deformed fetus will be considered by the newly reshaped Supreme Court. The procedure is only performed about 2000 times per year in the US, and is usually done because of severe defect in the fetus or risk of death by the mother. The fundies would rather the woman die. Roberts and Alito get to roll back 30 years of reproductive freedom in one fell swoop. My prediction: The court rules 5-4, let the women die.

No thanks to Joe Lieberman, Maria Cantwell "I'm 100% pro-choice", and the other Vichy Democrats who voted for cloture and let Alito on the Supreme Court.

WaPo: Abortion Case to Test New Justices
Court Will Review 'Partial Birth' Ban

The 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 federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 was Congress's answer to that ruling. It banned the procedure except when necessary to save the life of the woman. And it deliberately omitted an exception to protect the woman's health. Indeed, as drafted by its Republican sponsors, the law formally declared, based on expert testimony, that such an abortion could never be necessary to preserve health.

Women' Late-Term Abortion Saved These Women's Lives

Late-Term Abortions Save Women's Lives

If the ban were in place in 1995, Tammy Watts would likely be dead, she says.

In March of that year, Watts was in the eighth month of a much-wanted pregnancy and was eagerly anticipating the birth of her first child. During a routine ultrasound (the only way to detect abnormalities that require late-term abortion), she discovered her baby had Trisomy 13, a chromosomal abnormality that causes severe deformities and carries no hope of survival.

Because her baby was already dying and because this put her own life at stake, Watts had an intact dilation and extraction (D and X), the procedure that Bush condemns as "brutal."

"Losing my baby at the end of my pregnancy was agonizing," says Watts. "But the way the right deals with this issue makes it even worse. When I heard Bush mention 'partial birth abortion' during the debates, I thought 'How dare you stand there and tell flat-out lies?' There is no such thing as this procedure! Why won't the politicians listen to us?"

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