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Supreme Threat to Women

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The Supreme Court decision last week on third-trimester abortion is a real threat to freedom of choice, on several counts. First, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi noted, “This isn’t really an abortion issue. This is about a procedure that any parent would want her daughter to have access to if she needed it…this Supreme Court is deciding what medical procedures are necessary for childbearing women.”

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In a bitter dissent read from the bench, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the only woman on the high court, said the majority’s opinion “cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away a right declared again and again by this court, and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women’s lives.”

She called the ruling “alarming” and noted the conservative majority “tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases” by doctor’s groups, including gyncecologists.

Conservatives and other abortion foes call third trimester abortion “partial birth abortion” and regard it as a gruesome procedure; from the way it’s described, it very well may be–but it’s not as if it’s something that’s performed because a woman suddenly wakes up in the ninth month of pregnancy and decides she doesn’t feel like being a mother after all. It’s a procedure that is frequently performed because her life is in danger. As NARAL spokesperson Amy Everitt said of the decision, “a woman’s health is no longer paramount and a core tenet of Roe is out the door.”

While not caring one whit about women’s health, the Court had the balls to cite that very issue as another reason for the ban, claiming that abortions lead inevitably to depression in women. They got this claptrap from a recent naming of “post abortion syndrome,” (see my blog, Happy Birthday Roe v. Wade). I knew that this depression bullshit was going to prove dangerous; what’s to stop them now that they’ve got this on the record from throwing Roe out entirely?

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About all we can hope for now is that the Freedom of Choice Act sponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer and reintroduced immediately following the court decision makes it into law. The Act allows for women’s health to be factored into the decision to have a late-term abortion.

I’m so disgusted I could puke. This court’s contempt for women is beyond belief.

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