October 22nd, 2003

random pic

talk about changed....

oh dear.. I'm reading through the text of the Roe/Wade decision (in light of recent federal legislation, I felt it my duty to educate myself before speaking of it with others -- and I know others are likely to bring it up (some allready have)) and not only do I find it interesting and gripping (yes, that's "gripping" as in "so well written I have trouble stopping"), but I actually *laughed* at a piece of humor that was written into the decision.

What the frell has happened to me, that I actually "get" the humor in the text of a US Supreme Court decision.
sp by streetlamp

ick!

the term `partial-birth abortion' means an abortion in which the person performing the abortion vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother, for the purpose of performing an overt act that the person knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus; and performs the overt act, other than completion of delivery, that kills the partially delivered living fetus.

I'm sorry, folks, call be intolerant, but that just sounds damn gross.. I can't imagine a situation where this would be safer for the mother than actually delivering the child. Especially when you consider that this still counts as a vaginal birth. They first induce labor before the baby/mother are ready for it, then pause the proceedings to kill the baby, then continue labor to get the dead baby fully out.

Some people have said that this goes against Roe v. Wade. I don't see that. In fact, from what I can tell of the court decision in Roe v. Wade, the court only protected a woman's right to get an abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy. to quote:
(a) For the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision and its effectuation must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman's attending physician.

(b) For the stage subsequent to approximately the end of the first trimester, the State, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health.

(c) For the stage subsequent to viability, the State in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.


So, in passing this bill, I don't see any contradiction to the Roe/Wade decision. I see people decrying this ban as an "invasion of privacy". Well, guess what, again to quote the court:

The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy.

Now, yes, court decisions have defined some right to privacy, but in the case of abortion the Roe/Wade decision made it very clear that you only have a right to privacy up till the end of the first trimester. Anything you want to do after that can be legislated (within reason) by the State.

Some interesting reading for anyone with an opinion on this topic (as I think most people are):
here is the bill in question's site. To read the bill itself click on "text of legislation" and then click the link for version number 5, that's the one that is being sent to the president for signing.
here is a copy of the court decision in Roe v. Wade. It's not on the official Supreme Court's website becasue I couldn't find it there (I tell ya, the Supreme Court has one of the most unhelpful websites I've ever visited).