The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will consider the constitutionality of banning partial-birth abortions, teeing up a contentious issue for a new court already in a state of flux over privacy rights.I am against partial-birth abortion, and I do believe that most of this country is as well. In case you don't know what it is, here's a short explanation:
The Bush administration has pressed the high court to reinstate the federal law, passed in 2003 but never put in effect because it was struck down by judges in California, Nebraska and New York.
The federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act prohibits a certain type of abortion, generally carried out in the second or third trimester, in which a fetus is partially removed from the womb, and the skull is punctured or crushed.The contention of the people fighting against this law is that it leaves out a certain important detail:
Justices had been split 5-4 in 2000 in striking down a state law, barring what critics call partial birth abortion because it lacked an exception to protect the health of the mother.This is a very serious concern. The proponents of the law argue that such a thing never applies:
The federal law in the current case has no health exception, but defenders maintain that the procedure is never medically necessary to protect a woman's health.But is this true?
The case that will be heard this fall comes to the Supreme Court from Nebraska, where the federal law was challenged on behalf of physicians. Doctors who perform the procedure contend that it is the safest method of abortion when the mother's health is threatened by heart disease, high blood pressure or cancer.It seems to me that this case will likely be decided on whether the Court feels the procedure will or won't apply to cases in which the mother's life would be threatened. However, there is something I don't understand at all about this story: Why can't the law simply add in a clause protecting the mother's ability to have an abortion if it is threatening her health, and it can be determined that this is in fact the case? It seems difficult to think that people could somehow abuse this: I can't imagine people being able to successfully fake cancer or heart disease, and high blood pressure is something that can easily be tested.
To me, there are two ways in which this should play out:
1) The Court determines that the claim is correct, and that the specific partial-birth abortion technique in this law is never needed in cases where the mother's health is threatened. Partial-birth abortion: Banned.Am I missing something?
2) The Court disagrees, and feels that there are certain cases in which the mother's safety would be at risk, and does not ban it. The government takes those specific examples, adds protections in those cases into the law, and try again. The end result should be simple. Partial-birth abortion: Banned.
Technorati tags: Federal Law, Partial-Birth, Abortion, Supreme Court, Mothers.