The Supreme Court has made a decision to uphold the ban on partial birth abortions; a title assigned to the procedure by its opponents.
In 2003 President Bush signed the bill and the Congress passed the Partial Birth Abortion Act; this was the first time there has been a ban on an abortion procedure since a woman’s right to an abortion was recognized in 1973, in the Roe vs. Wade decision.
President Bush, in a statement, celebrates what he calls the progress of his administration to defend the “sanctity of life.” He followed by saying, “I am pleased that the Supreme Court has upheld a law that prohibits the abhorrent procedure of partial birth abortion,” he said. “Today’s decision affirms that the Constitution does not stand in the way of the people’s representatives enacting laws reflecting the compassion and humanity of America.”
This is the first time that the Supreme Court has issued law over how an abortion is performed.
In a partial birth abortion, the doctor removes the fetus, still intact, from the uterus and then cuts the skull, or it is crushed, to complete the abortion. The medical term for the procedure is dilation and extraction. According to the Guttmacher Institute, in the year 2000, 2,200 of these procedures were performed. These are the most recent statistics available.
Women seeking an abortion within the first trimester, which is the first 12 weeks of the term, will remain unaffected. However, those in opposition to abortion feel that this law won’t change anything as the other available method – dismembering the fetus in the uterus – is still available.
But, the decision was certainly not that of all justices. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg called the decision “alarming.” She said that the ruling “refuses to take … seriously” the previous Supreme Court decisions on abortion, that it “tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.” She continues also that “the court blesses a prohibition with no exception safeguarding a woman’s health.”
Eve Gardner of Planned Parenthood had this to say: “This ruling flies in the face of 30 years of Supreme Court precedent and the best interest of women’s health and safety. … This ruling tells women that politicians, not doctors, will make their health care decisions for them.” This is the point she had argued in front of the justices.
Three states have called the law unconstitutional – New York, Nebraska and California, and the Supreme Court has accepted appeals from California and Nebraska.
Sources: Yahoo News