A divided U.S. Supreme Court upheld a nationwide ban on ``partial birth'' abortion, marking a shift on the issue and underscoring the impact of President George W. Bush's two high court appointments.
The justices, voting 5-4, said the 2003 law is constitutional even though there is no exception for cases posing a risk to the mother's health. The court also rejected claims that the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act is so vaguely worded it would force doctors to forgo a commonly used, constitutionally protected abortion technique for fear of prosecution.
``The government has a legitimate and substantial interest in preserving and promoting fetal life,'' Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority.
But not women's lives, apparently. That last statement sure sounds to me like a harbinger of horrors to come.
Sasha has collected some of the salient bits from Justice Ginsburg's decent. My favorite parts:
Because of women's fragile emotional state and because of the "bond of love the mother has for her child," the Court worries, doctors may withhold information about the nature of the intact D&E procedure. . . Instead, the Court deprives women of the right to make an autonomous choice, even at the expense of their safety.
We're also prone to "hysteria" you know. Thank goodness there are such big strong men to protect us from our health care.
Throughout, the opinion refers to obstetrician-gynecologists and surgeons who perform abortions not by the titles of their medical specialties, but by the pejorative label "abortion doctor."
Well I'm glad they entered into their deliberations with such seriousness and lack of bias. Oy. We are in trouble.