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Partial-Birth Abortion Ban
May 8, 2007 9:25 PM   Subscribe

New Justices, New Rules: How the Supreme Court's Validation of the Federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act Affects Women's Constitutional Liberty and Equality. A two-part FindLaw analysis of Gonzales v. Carhart.
posted by homunculus (26 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh man. Ladies, I hope you like wimples.
posted by boo_radley at 9:34 PM on May 8, 2007


Or, you know, death.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:36 PM on May 8, 2007


And of course, remember this anecdote, and these.

And see this from Ampersand:
The biggest threat is buried deep in the decision...

What Kennedy is saying here is that if pro-lifers pass an abortion ban without any health exception, then women can successfully sue to have the ban overturned only in “as applied” cases. So a ban might not be illegal generally, but it still might be illegal in the case of Betty Smith of Memphis, who might be able to convince a court the ban “as applied” to women with her specific health circumstances is unconstitutional because it threatens her health.

But even if one lawsuit is successful in overturning the law “as applied” to the particular person who sued, the law could still apply to other women in other circumstances - meaning all those women would have to sue individually if they think the law is unconstitutionally being applied to them. The net effect could be to make it much harder for pro-choice activists to get Courts to consider whether or not new abortion-related laws are Constitutional.

So let’s say that Betty Smith has uterine scarring, and can convince a court for health reasons that the PBA ban is unconstitutional as applied to her and other women with her exact health conditions. That does nothing at all for Judy Jones, who has placenta previa; Judy has to initiate a whole new lawsuit regarding if the PBA bas is constitutional “as applied” to people in her condition.
And his roundup of analytical posts from various sites about the decision.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:07 PM on May 8, 2007


And Ginsburg's dissent, in which she speaks for common sense in saying "Do you guys really expect women who have urgent health complications during pregnancy to be able to take their case to the Supreme Court to get around the no-health-exception-containing law of their state? No. Of course not. What you're saying is that you don't care if the state passes a law that prevents them getting necessary medical treatment -- you don't care if they die or become permanently disabled as a result of your political gamesmanship. Motherfuckers." (I'm summarizing here)
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:13 PM on May 8, 2007 [6 favorites]


I'm just impressed about how the Republicans assembled a conservative Catholic majority on the court, Voltron-style, over my (adult) lifetime.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:29 PM on May 8, 2007


Racing into the past. I wonder what other rights and freedoms are next on the block.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:47 PM on May 8, 2007


Or, you know, death.

Or, you know, the empowerment of government to extert further control over our lives.

I'm just impressed how anyone can call themselves conservative and think that an all-powerful government is what Thomas Jefferson had in mind.
posted by three blind mice at 10:50 PM on May 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


Im going to read the full opinion as soon as finals are over. But Ginberg's dissent is masterful. I want to re-read it again when I have more time, but on a cursory reading it rates with Stevens' dissent in Bush v. Gore and O'Conner's dissent as one of my favorite dissents of the modern SCOTUS.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:41 AM on May 9, 2007


*O'connor's dissent in Kelo.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:46 AM on May 9, 2007


All types of abortion are illegal in the Republic of Ireland. Guess what? Any Irish woman who wants an abortion simply crosses a border and has the abortion. You can't legislate morality... well, you can TRY and fail (oh, Prohibition - how many crime lords did you foster?). There's a notable case about this woman in Ireland right now...
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:23 AM on May 9, 2007


I live in a barbaric society run by idiots and supported by an idiot majority, apparently. I'm truly sorry.
posted by maxwelton at 1:30 AM on May 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Oh man. Ladies, I hope you like wimples."

Good thing we're out there fighting against this sort of oppression.
posted by Eideteker at 4:22 AM on May 9, 2007


"...Motherfuckers." (I'm summarizing here)
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:13 AM on May 9 [3 favorites +]


I don't know, maybe Ginsburg was thinking that to herself. Can you imagine how she must feel, watching her life's work crumble beneath her feet? Apparently the announcement of her dissent in open court was quite emotional, but I don't know if that audio is ever made available.
posted by footnote at 6:08 AM on May 9, 2007


The death of justice.

.
posted by nofundy at 6:15 AM on May 9, 2007


Any Irish woman who wants an abortion simply crosses a border and has the abortion.

Laws, particularly reproductive laws, seem to exist mainly to control the poor. If you're rich, you can find any way around the legal system that you like.

Once the SCOTUS outlaws lesbian and gay couples from raising children, I'm certain an exception will be made for Cheney's daughter.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:25 AM on May 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


I [super-mega-heart] Blazecock Pileon. So, so true.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:20 AM on May 9, 2007


Roberts 52
Alito 57
Thomas 58
Souter 67
Breyer 68
Kennedy 70
Scalia 71
Ginsburg 74
Stevens 87

This seriously sucks. I have trouble forgiving Sandra Day O'Connor for not hanging in there until another administration was in place.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:12 AM on May 9, 2007


But she didn't want to hang around. She wanted Bush to appoint a right-wing successor— she knew it would happen and didn't care. But yeah, there's always a "Dear God, please kill Scalia and Alito right after a Dem wins in '08" moment in the evening prayers.
Ideally, they'll die crushed naked in a Murphy bed after buggering each other.
posted by klangklangston at 8:44 AM on May 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think having a few conservative opinions on the court makes for better law. I just do not want a conservative majority. What pains me is how easily both sides of the political axis become polarized, and reach decisions on ideological grounds and do post-hoc rationalization.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:55 AM on May 9, 2007


Also, I want to scream.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:56 AM on May 9, 2007


Conservatism is fear.
posted by interrobang at 9:59 AM on May 9, 2007


She wanted Bush to appoint a right-wing successor— she knew it would happen and didn't care.

My impression was that she left to spend more time with her husband, who has Alzheimer's. I don't think she's happy with the new Court.
posted by homunculus at 10:25 AM on May 9, 2007


That's my impression, too, homunculus - that, and she was spooked by the increase in threats against judges.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:42 AM on May 9, 2007


Any Irish woman who wants an abortion simply crosses a border and has the abortion.

That's great, but Ireland is smaller than, say, Arkansas, so that might not be feasible here.
posted by me & my monkey at 12:37 PM on May 9, 2007


And Ireland has hovercrafts. Arkansas, not so much.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:44 PM on May 9, 2007


The war against abortion has nothing to do with the protection of life. It is a war against an open society -- a cover for assaults against sexual pleasure and personal choice.
posted by homunculus at 1:11 PM on May 19, 2007


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