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April 5th, 2004, 12:19 AM
April 5, 2004

Reproductive Rights Assaulted

At a bill-signing ceremony at the White House, and in federal courtrooms across the country, the Republican campaign against women's basic reproductive and privacy rights reached an ominous new stage last week.

In Washington on Thursday, President Bush signed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which advances the administration's anti-choice agenda under the guise of law enforcement. Like numerous similar state laws, the new federal law makes it a criminal act to harm a fetus, separate from the crime of attacking a pregnant woman.

Meanwhile, trials opened in New York, Nebraska and California in the cases challenging the constitutionality of the federal ban on so-called partial-birth abortion. Early testimony by doctors powerfully underscored the law's core defects — namely, the glaring absence of an adequate exception to protect a woman's health and its astonishingly broad reach. Although billed as a prohibition on late-term abortions, its actual wording would criminalize common abortion procedures used after the first trimester of pregnancy, but well before fetal viability.

Dr. LeRoy Carhart, the Nebraska physician who won the Supreme Court decision striking down a similar state ban three years ago, testified that the new law covers "at least 21 different procedures." But he said, "In reality I think this act covers everything after the 12th week" of pregnancy.

Testifying in the New York case, Dr. Amos Grunebaum of New York Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical College expressed similar concerns. He also noted that the removal of an intact fetus, which the bill supposedly takes aim at, is sometimes the safest procedure, since it is less invasive, thereby reducing the risk of infection and other complications.

The administration's defense of its "partial birth" ban and the new "unborn victims" law have a common theme: profound disrespect for women.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

April 7th, 2004, 12:20 AM
April 7, 2004


The Abortion Question


LISBON — To understand what might happen in America if President Bush gets his way with the Supreme Court, consider recent events in Portugal.

Seven women were tried this year in the northern Portuguese fishing community of Aveiro for getting abortions. They were prosecuted — facing three-year prison sentences — along with 10 "accomplices," including husbands, boyfriends, parents and a taxi driver who had taken a pregnant woman to a clinic.

The police staked out gynecological clinics and investigated those who emerged looking as if they might have had abortions because they looked particularly pale, weak or upset. At the trial, the most intimate aspects of their gynecological history were revealed.

This was the second such mass abortion trial lately in Portugal. The previous one involved 42 defendants, including a girl who had been 16 at the time of the alleged abortion.

Both trials ended in acquittals, except for a nurse who was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison for performing abortions.

Portugal, like the U.S., is an industrialized democracy with a conservative religious streak, but the trials have repulsed the Portuguese. A recent opinion poll shows that people here now favor abortion rights, 79 percent to 14 percent. In a sign of the changing mood, Portugal's president recently commuted the remainder of the nurse's sentence. There's a growing sense that while abortion may be wrong, criminalization is worse.

"It's very embarrassing," said Sandy Gageiro, a Lisbon journalist who covered the trials. "Lots of reporters came and covered Portugal and said it had this medieval process."

Portugal offers a couple of sobering lessons for Americans who, like Mr. Bush, aim to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The first is that abortion laws are very difficult to enforce in a world as mobile as ours. Some 20,000 Portuguese women still get abortions each year, mostly by crossing the border into Spain. In the U.S., where an overturn of Roe v. Wade would probably mean bans on abortion only in a patchwork of Bible Belt states, pregnant women would travel to places like New York, California and Illinois for their abortions.

The second is that if states did criminalize abortion, they would face a backlash as the public focus shifted from the fetus to the woman. "The fundamentalists have lost the debate" in Portugal, said Helena Pinto, president of UMAR, a Portuguese abortion rights group. "Now the debate has shifted to the rights of women. Do we want to live in a country where women can be in jail for abortion?"

Mr. Bush and other conservatives have chipped away successfully at abortion rights, as Gloria Feldt notes in her new book, "The War on Choice." That's because their strategy has been to focus on procedures like so-called partial-birth abortion and on protecting fetal rights. The strategy succeeds because most Americans share Mr. Bush's aversion to abortion.

As do I.

Like most Americans, I find abortion a difficult issue, because a fetus seems much more than a lump of tissue but considerably less than a human being. Most of us are deeply uncomfortable with abortion, especially in the third trimester, but we still don't equate it with murder.

That's why it makes sense to try to reduce abortions by encouraging sex education and contraception. The conservative impulse to teach abstinence only, without promoting contraception, is probably one reason the U.S. has so many more abortions per capita than Canada or Britain.

Portugal's experience suggests that while many people are offended by abortion on demand, they might be even more troubled by criminalization of abortion.

"Forbidding abortion doesn't save anyone or anything," said Sonia Fertuzinhos, a member of the Portuguese Parliament. "It just gets women arrested and humiliated in the public arena."

The upshot is that many Portuguese seem to be both anti-abortion and pro-choice. They are morally uncomfortable with abortion, especially late in pregnancies, but they don't think the solution is to arrest young women for making agonizing personal choices to end their pregnancies.

As one sensible woman put it in her autobiography: "For me, abortion is a personal issue — between the mother, father and doctor." She added, "Abortion is not a presidential matter."

President Bush, listen to your mother.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

April 9th, 2004, 05:00 PM
Bush is listening to his supporters, not his mother.

If the GOP says he will be voted in because of this, he will do as he is told.

No big surprise.

So like that last little bit with the Gay Marriage amendment, Bush did not loose any votes amongst the gay voters (or not enough to be counted) and furthered his support in conservative areas that might be swing votes.

And he didn't do squat. All he said was his administrations position. He will not be able to get this as an AMENDMENT to the CONSTITUTION, so it was a safe bet.

So, whatever. We are on a conservative back swing right now, and between that and the terrorisim scare policy pushing, a lot of freedoms have been quietly removed at a time we would be less likely to either notice them or USE them.

April 24th, 2004, 07:57 PM
April 24, 2004

For Abortion Rights Cause, a New Diversity


WASHINGTON, April 23 — When Kalpana Krishnamurthy rallies supporters here this weekend at a march for abortion rights, the first such national gathering in 12 years, she will be doing so as director of the Third Wave Foundation, a nationwide feminist group.

But Ms. Krishnamurthy's perspective on the issue is shaped by far more than domestic debate. Her parents immigrated to the United States from India, where most of her large extended family still lives and where although abortion is legal, the right to it is intertwined with continuing battles over other women's issues, including domestic violence and economic opportunity.

And when she marches on Sunday, she said, she will also be representing women across South Asia whose access to social services has been limited by an American policy that bars financing to international organizations that perform or provide information on abortions.

"The impact of these laws is intensely personal and far-reaching to me," said Ms. Krishnamurthy, 27. "What we need to do is find a way to talk about reproductive rights so it hits as deeply and personally to other young women in the United States."

As abortion rights advocates prepare for Sunday's event, which they call the March for Women's Lives, veterans of the movement say they have been striving to address a decline in support among women under age 30. But young first-generation Americans and recent immigrants, many of whom maintain connections to countries where reproductive rights are part of a still-burgeoning struggle over women's issues, are bringing new energy and broader perspectives to the cause.

This weekend Ms. Krishnamurthy will be joined in a youth-focused coalition by other new leaders like Silvia Henriquez, 29, the daughter of Salvadoran immigrants who is now director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, and Crystal Plati, 30, born in Cyprus, raised in Queens and now director of Choice USA, a multiethnic outreach organization started by Gloria Steinem.

These young leaders are far from the only newcomers to the movement, however. Of more than 1,400 groups that have signed up to send delegations to the march, dozens are just starting to lend their efforts, among them Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority and South Asians for Choice, an organization founded last month by two recent Brown University graduates who have organized 150 people to participate in this weekend's activities.

Longtime abortion rights advocates lament what they view as a growing complacency among women who have come of age in the 31 years since the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade legalized the procedure.

"Women today assume rights," said Kate Michelman, president of Naral Pro-Choice America. "They don't feel a sense of urgency."

New leaders acknowledge the challenge in mobilizing the post-Roe generation. But they believe that their understanding of issues concerning younger women among a variety of ethnic groups can help the movement expand its reach.

The word "abortion" is spoken sparingly by the younger advocates, who say it can restrict outreach and allow anti-abortion groups to wage a single-issue debate. Many of these organizers, using terms like "reproductive rights" and "reproductive justice," say their agenda must include issues like comprehensive sex education, emergency contraception, affordable prenatal care for low-income women and, for immigrants, improved access to reproductive health care by providers who speak their patients' native languages.

The youth-focused coalition in which Ms. Plati, Ms. Henriquez and Ms. Krishnamurthy are participating will sponsor a workshop on Saturday called the 10 in 10 Gathering, a reference, organizers say, to the fact that while not all young women will have to confront a decision about abortion, 10 in 10 will have to deal broadly with their sexual health.

"When we define choice," Ms. Plati said, "it's about a woman's right to decide if and when she will have sex, if and when she will get pregnant, if and when she will carry a pregnancy to term, and if and when she will raise a child."

Veteran abortion rights supporters generally welcome the new diversity of thought, though some caution that the movement cannot let down its guard on abortion specifically.

"These new issues reflect the reality of women's lives," said Ms. Michelman, who has visited dozens of college campuses in recent months to build support for the march. "But the fundamental right to choose, as recognized in Roe, is really at great risk, and that could change the reality very severely and suddenly. We have to maintain focus on that."

That is an argument not lost on Leila Balali, a software engineer who stopped by Naral Pro-Choice America's organizing center here this week. Ms. Balali, 35, who was born and raised in Iran but has been in the United States since 1986, said that although she would be unable to attend the march, she wanted to help make posters as a show of support.

"This shouldn't even be an issue in this country," she said. "Women in this country need to realize that if they don't raise their voices, slowly, slowly they may lose their voice."

April 25, 2004

Shift in Fight Over Abortion


WASHINGTON — Twelve years ago, the last time abortion rights supporters rallied in the nation's capital, the political struggle was raw and fundamental.

The Supreme Court was reviewing Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision on the constitutional right to abortion, and nobody knew whether the law would survive. Anti-abortion protesters had been conducting a series of mass demonstrations, blockading clinics in Wichita, Kan., and elsewhere. Abortion rights leaders said they did not have to struggle to build a sense of urgency in their ranks, or to make the case to the more ambivalent voters in the middle that basic reproductive rights were at stake.

Today, as they assemble on the Washington Mall, the movement faces a far more complicated and in some ways more challenging political landscape. The anti-abortion movement is more confident, more sophisticated and far more ensconced in the government, with allies now in control of the House, the Senate and the White House.

Its legislative goals are incremental, careful and popular with Americans who would oppose an outright ban on abortion, even if this agenda is considered by its opponents to be a stealthy chipping away of rights. The anti-abortion movement has, in many ways, become part of the establishment.

Nobody has made a serious effort to push a constitutional ban on abortion through Congress in many years. The Republican Party platform still calls for such a ban, as it has since the ascendancy of the Reaganites, and that plank is expected to be reaffirmed this year.

But President Bush, who opposes abortion except in cases of rape and incest and to protect the life of the woman, tried to defuse the fears of moderate voters early on. He said that he did not believe the country was ready for a ban, and talks more generally about creating a "culture of life."

Anna Greenberg, a Democratic pollster who also works for Naral Pro-Choice America, said her research showed that Mr. Bush rarely even used the word "abortion" for months at a time.

The current Congressional agenda of the anti-abortion movement is a series of steps aimed at restricting abortion and recognizing the "personhood" of the fetus. Legislation already passed includes the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, aimed at a procedure performed in the second or third trimester, and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which makes it a separate offense to harm a fetus in a federal crime committed against a pregnant woman.

Some say the anti-abortion movement looks so successful because it has essentially ceded defeat on the broader goal of ending legal abortion. When the Supreme Court ultimately ruled in 1992, it upheld the Roe decision, albeit narrowly and allowing for some new restrictions. Bill Clinton was elected president later that year and appointed two additional supporters of abortion rights to the Supreme Court.

By the mid-1990's, "everyone was recognizing on the pro-life side that the debate was shutting down," said James Davison Hunter, a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia and the author of "Before the Shooting Begins: Searching for Democracy in America's Culture War." The prospect of overturning the broad constitutional right had slipped away, he said.

"The pro-life movement has come to terms with this political reality," Mr. Hunter added, "and having done that, they have adopted a very different strategy, one that is incremental in nature."

Its leaders say they have simply recognized that they are in a long-term struggle to change hearts and minds - and to reduce the number of abortions along the way. It was clearly a painful epiphany for some.

"I recognize this incremental strategy is not universally embraced in the pro-life movement," Dr. James C. Dobson wrote last year in a collection of essays, "Back to the Drawing Board: The Future of the Pro-Life Movement." "Our goal must always be to bring about a decisive end to this evil practice, with public policy that matches public sentiment."

But Dr. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, a conservative group, added, "That time has not yet come." He warned, "If we hold out for only the purest legislative approach, we will be left in the dust."

Abortion rights leaders argue that these incremental laws are just another means to the same end; they do not see a defeated anti-abortion movement, but a smarter one.

"There are many different assaults, and it's incredibly important for people to connect the dots and recognize that they are all part of an overarching plan to eliminate reproductive rights," said Gloria Feldt, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. But they find themselves fighting legislation that, in and of itself, seems unobjectionable to many moderates - among the voters and in Congress.

David O'Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life Committee, asserted, "Fighting things like the partial-birth ban shows an extremism that the American public rejects."

In fact, many voters who describe themselves as "pro-choice" are still open to restrictions like parental notification laws, or the ban on "partial birth" abortions, known medically as intact dilation and extraction, some analysts say. Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster, said, "The percentage of people who say they're for the woman's right to abortion at all times under any situation is very small, as is the percentage who say women should not have abortions for any reason."

For the supporters of abortion and reproductive rights, though, each additional restriction - making an abortion harder to get, limiting the type of procedure a doctor can perform, eliminating public funds - renders the fundamental right less meaningful. Ms. Feldt compares it to losing a finger at a time.

Still, the abortion rights camp might not be able to rouse the American center again until there is a vacancy on the Supreme Court. The next president may be able to name two or more justices to the court, given that there has not been a vacancy since 1994. The fight could become raw and fundamental again, very quickly.


The Issue That Never Went Away



Tens of thousands of people are expected to descend on Washington today for the first major abortion-rights march in more than a decade. With chants and placards, they will warn that Roe v. Wade is at risk. Most Americans have heard this alarm so many times that they've tuned it out. They can't imagine going back to a world in which women's medical records are introduced at trials of doctors to determine whether the abortions they performed were necessary.

But that world is already upon us. For months, in federal courts in several states, abortion has literally been on trial. The catalyst for these trials is the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which President Bush signed into law last fall. Abortion-rights supporters, citing a four-year-old Supreme Court ruling on a similar statute in Nebraska, argue that some of the procedures banned by the new law may sometimes be medically necessary. The Justice Department, citing Congressional "findings of fact" to the contrary, disagrees.

To prove its case, the Justice Department says it needs to look at the evidence: women's medical records. It has subpoenaed thousands of records related to abortions at six metropolitan hospital centers and six Planned Parenthood centers around the country. The subpoenas covered all second-trimester abortions involving medical complications or chemical injections into the womb. They also sought the name of every doctor who had performed an abortion at any of the hospitals.

Aren't such records private? Not according to the Justice Department. Its court filings claim that federal law "does not recognize a physician-patient privilege" and that patients "no longer possess a reasonable expectation that their histories will remain completely confidential." In some of these trials, judges have rejected these arguments. In others, judges have ordered hospitals to hand over the records. Last week, a New York hospital became the first to be fined for refusing to comply.

Attorney General John Ashcroft says the subpoenas respect patients' privacy by allowing hospitals to black out "identifying characteristics." An assistant United States attorney explained: "The government is not interested certainly in the private names and addresses and Social Security numbers of these patients. That is not the purpose here."

Indeed, that is not the purpose. The purpose of these inquiries is to try to prove that the so-called partial-birth procedure is never medically necessary, because that's what Congress asserts and the plaintiffs deny. But once this question is resolved, the next round of subpoenas will have a different purpose. It won't be to determine whether partial-birth abortion is ever necessary. It will be to determine whether each partial-birth abortion was necessary.

If the ban is upheld, any doctor found to have performed the procedure will be subject to a two-year prison term unless he or she can prove that the procedure was "necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury." To settle that question, the court will need details about the patient.

Alternatively, if the ban is struck down, Congress will have to add to it what the Supreme Court demanded four years ago: a clause allowing the procedure when necessary to protect the woman's health. That, too, will require details about the patient.

As Mr. Ashcroft puts it, "If the central issue in the case, an issue raised by those who brought the case, is medical necessity, we need to look at medical records to find out if indeed there was medical necessity." That's why the government subpoenaed the records of the doctors who challenged the law. And that's why the government will subpoena the records of any doctor who, having been charged with performing a partial-birth abortion, argues that the procedure was medically necessary. This is what it takes to enforce an abortion ban.

That's the lesson of these trials. For years, Republicans have used Congress and the White House to showcase the ugliness of late-term abortions. The public, naturally repelled, endorsed the so-called partial-birth ban, and Congress enacted it.

But an abortion ban isn't just a moral statement. It's a pledge to prosecute, and prosecution introduces a different kind of ugliness: the public investigation of personal tragedies. That's the ugliness that lies ahead. If Americans won't take that warning from today's marchers, maybe they'll take it from John Ashcroft.

William Saletan, chief political correspondent for Slate, is the author of "Bearing Right: How Conservatives Won the Abortion War."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

April 26th, 2004, 02:14 AM
April 26, 2004

Abortion-Rights Marchers Vow to Fight Another Bush Term


Hundreds of thousands of abortion rights supporters listened to speeches at the Mall in Washington.

Protesters in front of the White House.

WASHINGTON, April 25 — Hundreds of thousands of abortion rights supporters rallied Sunday in the nation's capital, protesting the policies of the Bush administration and its conservative allies and vowing to fight back in the November election.

The huge crowd marched slowly past the White House, chanting and waving signs like "My Body Is Not Public Property!" and "It's Your Choice, Not Theirs!," then filled the Mall, turning it into a sea of women, men and children for the first large-scale abortion rights demonstration here in 12 years.

Organizers asserted that the marchers numbered more than a million, in what they said was a clear demonstration of political clout. There was no official estimate of the crowd size from law enforcement authorities; the United States Park Police stopped providing counts for rallies after bitter disputes over past estimates.

Speaker after speaker declared that President Bush and his allies in Congress were trying to impose an ideological agenda on abortion and family planning programs, both at home and abroad. The advocates warned that the erosion might be stealthy and incremental — regulations and restrictions rather than outright bans — but asserted that the trend was unmistakable.

"We are determined to stop this war on women," said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority, a sponsor of the march. Gloria Steinem, one of many feminist icons who turned out Sunday, said, "We are here to take back our country."

The day had a decidedly partisan edge, with many in the crowd carrying signs for Senator John Kerry, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee; several members of his family were among the marchers, as was Howard Dean, who had also sought the Democratic nomination; Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader of the House; and Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic Party chairman.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, noted that the last time abortion rights supporters rallied in Washington, the nation elected her husband to the presidency just six months later.

"We didn't have to march for 12 long years because we had a government that respected the rights of women," she said. "The only way we're going to be able to avoid having to march again and again and again is to elect John Kerry president."

Mr. Bush was at Camp David this weekend, but a White House spokesman, Taylor Gross, said: "The president believes we should work to build a culture of life in America. And regardless of where one stands on the issue of abortion, we can all work together to reduce the number of abortions through promotion of abstinence education programs, support for parental notification laws and support for the ban on partial-birth abortions."

Administration officials, in fact, have long maintained that the president's policies are solidly in the mainstream of American public opinion; although he opposes abortion except in cases of rape or incest, or to save the life of the woman, he has said the country is not ready for an outright ban.

But abortion rights advocates countered Sunday that Mr. Bush's policies put the government where it has no business: between doctor and patient. They are challenging the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, for example, arguing that it is so vague that it could outlaw many types of abortions performed after the first trimester and could keep doctors from performing procedures they believe are in the best interest of the woman's health.

Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, another sponsor of the march, said the Bush administration was engaged in a wide-ranging assault on Americans' privacy. "The government does not belong in our bedrooms," he said. "It does not belong in our doctors' offices."

June Walker, president of Hadassah, told the audience, "Everywhere, it seems, we have ideology creeping into women's health policy."

Many abortion rights supporters argued that Mr. Bush's emphasis on programs that promote only abstinence is draining money from family planning programs that rely more on contraception. And they maintained that his restoration of a ban on federal aid to family planning groups that promote or perform abortions abroad is hurting thousands of vulnerable women.

The march came at a difficult time for the abortion rights movement, after months of legislative setbacks. The movement's leaders hoped to use the march to rouse voters who are sympathetic to their cause, to galvanize younger women and to build support among minorities.

In fact, there was a changing-of-the-guard tone to much of Sunday's program. Ms. Steinem, noting that she is now 70, declared proudly that by her estimate, "more than a third of the women in this march are women under 25." Kate Michelman, soon leaving her post as president of Naral Pro-Choice America, one of the sponsors of the march, took the stage with her granddaughter and declared, "It's your generation that must take the lead."

Juleah Swanson, 21, was one of roughly 80 students who arrived on two buses from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Me. Ms. Swanson and several young women from the Bowdoin delegation were carrying a giant uterus made of red clothing and stuffing, bearing the slogan "My Body, My Choice."

"It's a historic moment, and so important in this election year with so much at stake in the courts," said Ms. Swanson, a women's studies major.

There were many families marching together, wearing signs that declared three or four generations for choice. Melissa Bomes of Los Angeles was marching with her mother and her 7-month-old daughter, all of them dressed in the white of the women's suffrage movement. "We feel it's incredibly important to let the government know how important this is to us."

Along the march route, a line of anti-abortion protesters prayed, chanted and held up blown-up photographs of aborted fetuses and signs that said, "Have compassion on the little ones!" and "Women Need Love, Not Abortion."

The abortion rights protesters chanted back, "Pro-life, that's a lie, you don't care if women die," and "Not the church, not the state, women will decide their fate."

Many of the anti-abortion protesters, though, said they simply wanted to make a statement but not confront the marchers. "I'm here because I want women to know before they have an abortion that there is more to it than ending a pregnancy," said Amy Martin, 37, who said she had an abortion at age 16 that led to depression and a slew of regrets.

The religious and political fault lines on the abortion issue were apparent. Several speakers took note of the debate within the Roman Catholic hierarchy over how to respond to Catholic elected officials who support abortion rights, including Mr. Kerry. Mrs. Pelosi took the stage and declared, "I am a mother of five, a grandmother of five and a devout Roman Catholic," as well as a supporter of abortion rights.

Organizers said they were elated by the size of the march, which took more than a year to arrange. But crowd estimates for Washington demonstrations are a source of enduring controversy, particularly since the park police stopped making its own estimates. One of the few hard numbers came from the city's subway, which registered 320,138 riders from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., compared with 133,448 during the same period last week. But many of the marchers did not use the subways.

Like past abortion rights marches, this one included a large group of actors, including Ashley Judd, Kathleen Turner, Whoopi Goldberg and Cybill Shepherd, as well as other celebrities, like Ted Turner. A large delegation came from Capitol Hill, as well as from the seven sponsors.

In addition to Naral, the A.C.L.U. and the Feminist Majority, those sponsors were the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the National Organization for Women, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and the Black Women's Health Imperative.

At times, the march had the air of a vast reunion. Jackie Ballard, a 78-year-old fashion consultant from Orange County, Calif., came with Lyn Jerry, her college roommate from Wellesley. "I got the announcement and thought, `I've got to be there,' " said Ms. Ballard. "I called my roommate and said we had to go."

Stephani Tikalsky, 45, from Minneapolis, brought her daughter Libby, who was turning 12 on Monday. "She may not understand this now, but I'm hoping that it'll register years from now," Ms. Tikalsky said. "I hope when people talk about the March of 2004 she'll remember she was there."

Reporting for this article was contributed by Lynette Clemetson, Julie Bosman, Rhasheema A. Sweeting and Elizabeth Phillips.

The event was the first large-scale abortion rights demonstration in Washington since 1992.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

April 26th, 2004, 03:19 AM


TLOZ Link5
April 26th, 2004, 01:55 PM
My family, despite our Catholic background, have generally supported abortion. My great-grandmother (my maternal grandfather's mother) died giving birth to her third child, a daughter, my great-aunt Mimi and mym other's favorite relative. Back in those days abortion was not illegal, and it was apparent early in her pregnancy that there would be complications. However, her parish priest told her that she must have her baby because of the tenets of the Church—essentially, he told her that her life was not as important as her unborn child's. When she died, my great-grandfather was so enraged that he left the Church forever. He would never step foot inside any house of worship again; for major family events like first holy communions or confirmations he would remain outside. Mimi, too, left the Church (at least I'm pretty sure she did) and often said that her mother should have gone through with the abortion. So instead of one aborted baby and two repentive parents, you had one dead mother and two lost souls.

June 5th, 2004, 11:15 AM
June 5, 2004

A Victory for Abortion Rights

At a perilous moment for women's reproductive freedom, it was a heartening development this week when a federal judge in California firmly rejected the 2003 federal ban on what its critics call "partial-birth abortion." With separate suits still pending in New York and Nebraska and the likelihood of appeals right up to the Supreme Court, this will not be the last word from the judiciary on this issue. But the clear and forceful parsing of the statute's myriad constitutional defects by the judge, Phyllis Hamilton, provides a worthy model for decisions to come.

Judge Hamilton's 117-page ruling duly faults the vagueness and ambiguity of the statute's key terms, especially the term partial-birth abortion, which was invented for political purposes and has, as she wrote, "little if any medical significance." Rather than being a narrow ban on a single late-term-abortion procedure, as its supporters insist, the judge concluded that the law as written would place an impermissably broad restriction on abortion rights in general. It would criminalize common dilation-and-extraction procedures performed long before fetal viability, including those performed as early as 13 weeks, and restrict doctors' options when treating women who have suffered miscarriages. The judge also scored the absence of the constitutionally required exception for medical actions taken to preserve a woman's health.

These are essentially the same defects that led a closely divided Supreme Court to strike down a remarkably similar state law four years ago. Much of Judge Hamilton's opinion is devoted to a scathing look at Congress's effort to circumvent that decision by, among other things, issuing findings misrepresenting relevant facts, deploying misleading terminology likening the pre-viability procedure dubbed partial-birth abortion by its opponents to the "killing of a newborn infant," and by declaring that such a procedure is never medically necessary.

It is sad that Congress was so quick to defy the Supreme Court by passing the copycat law. It is sadder still that President Bush signed it, and that lawyers from his Justice Department have endeavored to defend it, in part by stooping to an egregious fishing expedition — for the moment abandoned — to obtain women's private abortion records. The good news is that at least one judge in California has now rejected this brazen exercise in lawlessness.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

June 5th, 2004, 01:37 PM
It is sad that Congress was so quick to defy the Supreme Court by passing the copycat law. It is sadder still that President Bush signed it, and that lawyers from his Justice Department have endeavored to defend it, in part by stooping to an egregious fishing expedition — for the moment abandoned — to obtain women's private abortion records. The good news is that at least one judge in California has now rejected this brazen exercise in lawlessness.

Amen to that. :wink:

Bush is an evil person.

Freedom Tower
June 5th, 2004, 04:01 PM
Partial birth abortions should not be allowed. In partial birth abortions they deliver the baby feet first and then stick something into its head when that part starts coming out, and they suck out its brains. That is wrong and disgusting. It is murder and it is evil.

However, if a woman might die from giving birth then an abortion should be allowed, but not partial birth because if the mother would die from giving birth she'd probably also die from giving a partial birth abortion.

Abortion should be allowed for rapes, HIV/AIDs babies, and for a danger to the mothers life or health.

However, if there is a only a minor reason for the abortion like an inconvenience to the womans schedule, MURDER should not be allowed. If a woman doesn't want her baby it should be put up for adoption. She should've been more careful in the first place and killing a living thing isnt the solution for making her life less complicated.

People should wear condoms when they have sex if they dont want a baby, and then if it rips they should take brith control pills, and if neither work then its too bad and the baby should be allowed to live, and if there is no other option put it up for adoption. But it is wrong to kill a baby so your own life will be less interrupted. If you made the decision to have sex then you have to deal with the consequences. Don't murder your child.

June 5th, 2004, 05:34 PM
However, if a woman might die from giving birth then an abortion should be allowed, but not partial birth because if the mother would die from giving birth she'd probably also die from giving a partial birth abortion.

What? You are contradicting yourself here. Make up your mind.

The law that the president sign is wrong!

How could they make a woman suffer or die if a baby that hasn't see the light of day (as oppose to a woman) or is deffected is allowed to be born. The woman is more important to the family and friends whom have love her for years than a baby that hasnt been born yet. What if she has other children. Aren't they more important to have a healthy mother or a mother who is alive?

Partial Birth abortion should be supervised by authorities to see if that is the case. Yes! Besides there are alot of complications (health problems or death) for the woman if she is just doing it to just get rid of the child with no purpose. She might as well have it and then put the child for adoption.

Now, I believe if a woman wants to have an abortion to not have a child then it should be done before the fetus looks human. Or should protect her self before with protection. But accidents happen.

Freedom Tower
June 5th, 2004, 07:49 PM
I am not contradicting myself at all. How am i contradicting myself? It is extremely likely that if a woman were giving birth would die from it she would also die from a partial birth abortion. I take it you don't know a partial birth abortion is almost like delivering the baby and killing it? The baby is half delivered, everything but the head, then when the head starts coming out they stick a thing in it to suck out the brains. A woman who would die from complications probably coudln't even have htat type of abortion because it is nearly a birth. How is that contradictory?

June 5th, 2004, 08:45 PM
I guess I have to put your quote back on this thread.

However, if a woman might die from giving birth then an abortion should be allowed,

Ok...I guess you just said it should be allowed.

but not partial birth because if the mother would die from giving birth she'd probably also die from giving a partial birth abortion.

Then you said here that it should not be allowed.

You have to be clear in your post. Let me see if I understand what you are trying to say.

Are you saying that when a woman gets pregnant she is suppose to know already that she is in danger of dying or have any other health complication if she carries the baby. I do not think so. :roll:

She doesn't know until later (the fetus is human) when she is happy and ready to have the child then the doctors gives her the bad news. You are going to have complication and you might die or the child is going to be deffected when is born. It is your choice lady....either you will have the child or you are dead.

Freedom Tower
June 6th, 2004, 05:57 PM
I guess I have to put your quote back on this thread.

However, if a woman might die from giving birth then an abortion should be allowed,

Ok...I guess you just said it should be allowed.

but not partial birth because if the mother would die from giving birth she'd probably also die from giving a partial birth abortion.

Then you said here that it should not be allowed.

You have to be clear in your post. Let me see if I understand what you are trying to say.

Are you saying that when a woman gets pregnant she is suppose to know already that she is in danger of dying or have any other health complication if she carries the baby. I do not think so. :roll:

She doesn't know until later (the fetus is human) when she is happy and ready to have the child then the doctors gives her the bad news. You are going to have complication and you might die or the child is going to be deffected when is born. It is your choice lady....either you will have the child or you are dead.

I don't know how many times i have to explain it to you. I don't think you understand the difference between a partial birth abortion and other abortions. If a woman is likely to die from giving birth I agree with an abortion! And if she is likely to die from giving birth, a partial "BIRTH" abortion will probably also kill her! So it is not a contradiction. A partial birth abortion would also kill a woman who cannot give birth. IN PARTIAL BIRTH THE BABY IS NEARLY BORN. Its legs and body comes out and they stop at the head when they jab it to suck out the brains. Im sorry I have to say it so graphically but I think you are not getting the point. A woman who would die from giving birth would probably also die from a "PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION". She will not die from a regular abortion, but a partial birth is just that, partial birth. it would probably still kill the mother. Understand now? Partial birth doesn't just mean the baby is now human but it means the baby is delivered by regular means only feet first. Do I have to explain it again?

Freedom Tower
June 6th, 2004, 05:59 PM
I'm not saying the woman would know right away, but when she does find out it will be when an abortion other than partial birth can still be done. Partial birth is killing it after it is born really. No different than delivering the baby and then killing it. It is basically giving birth, therefore if giving birth would kill a woman, giving a partial birth would also. Comprende?

June 6th, 2004, 08:52 PM
Quotes from Freedom Tower.

And if she is likely to die from giving birth, a partial "BIRTH" abortion will probably also kill her!


How could you compare that at all! When a woman gives birth she is pushing for the most part to give birth. If she is likely to have health problems or die is more likely to happen when she is engaged in the pushing process. Ask a doctor!

In Partial birth abortion (Yes the fetus does have human characteristics) if the baby was taken out alive he will not survive. The baby hasn't develop the ability to survive outside on his own yet. The baby will die anyway and there is no way to save it.

The baby is removed like you describe vividly. (the head is suck out because they need to remove it since the part is bigger and they don't want to mess up the womans organs or her health complications. I don't want to go into too much details like you had I am afraid. But the woman is save from any health complications or death because she did not had to PUSH.

It is nonsense what you said about a woman is going to die in birth-partial abortion since the process is intended to save her. :roll:

If you need to understand more about this before posting things you don't understand you should go to your local Planned Parenthood or do some research. Dont listen to people who are not experts but just have beliefs on life.

Freedom Tower
June 7th, 2004, 04:21 PM
It just doesn't make any sense though. If they can pull the baby out far enough to see its feet, legs, body, and head so they can kill it without hurting the mother, why can't it just be delivered that way for special cases? Like i said, the baby is nearly delivered in a partial birth abortion. Why would just going a little further kill the mother?

June 7th, 2004, 05:40 PM
FT, I think you are basing your opinions on the anti-abortion information that has been provided. they are likening, incorrectly, a PBO to "Killing of an Infant". Read the court ruling.

In a PBO, they let the baby, underdeveloped, come partially out of the birth canal. In order to get the rest out, they do that brai-suck thing, which is kind of gross. But this is not done to an 8½ month old kid.

This is to make it so that surgery is not needed to remove the fetus. It also does not cause damage to the birth canal (which may be one of the reasons that the birth could be fatal to the woman).

It is not a "happy" procedure by far, but it is not as anamalistic as the anti-abortionists would have everyone believe.

Freedom Tower
June 9th, 2004, 04:59 PM
Well I am glad it is not as horrible as I originally heard. Although it is awful let me explain to you what I heard a PBO to be. From what I have read it sounded almost as if a live baby were born, and killed as it exited the mother. I was envisioning a very disturbing scene. I still am against abortions myself, but I'm glad to hear that babies aren't killed after being born. That does not happen does it? Would a doctor kill a baby that was just born?

June 10th, 2004, 09:37 AM
I believe that in all the PBO's performed, only a tiny portion are performed on late-term pregnancies.

But the situation has to be dire to warrant it, such as non-viability of the baby or severe risk to the mother.

The act of using it as a last minute "I don't want it" is viewed even by the pro-abortionists as barbaric and it is not approved, but sometimes the truth is not what is used to argue a political opinion.

June 10th, 2004, 10:12 AM
PBO (as it has been dubbed by anti-choice zealots) is a rarely performed medical procedure. The term "partial birth" was devised by religious anti-choice fanatics for the sole purpose of generating exactly the kind of response Freedom Tower has shown.

It is a medical procedure, not an alternative to birth control. It is administered late in a pregnancy. As it is a medical procedure, it is probably fair to say there are issues surrounding the decision to administer the procedure that we will never know. We can't presume to make a blanket decision that is simply "wrong" based on a graphic, overly dramatic, emotionally charged description of the procedure.

Regardless of the propaganda, I don't know anyone who takes these procedures lightly or anyone who has undergone abortion procedures and comes out unaffected. Women, as a group, are not idiots. I would be incensed if anyone tried to limit my medical options. There's no argument, because the folks advocating overturning reproductive choice and these medical procedures cannot know the situations and facts of each case.

June 10th, 2004, 10:21 AM
Whoops on that one.

I did not mean to give the impression that the PBO was something that was performed EARLY early on...

I was just trying to move it a step or two away from the idea that they were somehow taking a fully functional baby and killing it while it was being born.

that is what is being implied by the Anti-Abortionist lobby, and that is just not right.

Thanks BR.

November 20th, 2004, 07:07 AM
November 20, 2004

Negotiators Add Abortion Clause to Spending Bill


WASHINGTON, Saturday, Nov. 20 - House and Senate negotiators have tucked a potentially far-reaching anti-abortion provision into a $388 billion must-pass spending bill, complicating plans for Congress to wrap up its business and adjourn for the year.

The provision may be an early indication of the growing political muscle of social conservatives who provided crucial support for Republican candidates, including President Bush, in the election.

House officials said Saturday morning that the final details of the spending measure were worked out before midnight and that the bill was filed for the House vote on Saturday.

The abortion language would bar federal, state and local agencies from withholding taxpayer money from health care providers that refuse to provide or pay for abortions or refuse to offer abortion counseling or referrals. Current federal law, aimed at protecting Roman Catholic doctors, provides such "conscience protection'' to doctors who do not want to undergo abortion training. The new language would expand that protection to all health care providers, including hospitals, doctors, clinics and insurers.

"It's something we've had a longstanding interest in," said Douglas Johnson, a spokesman for the National Right to Life Committee. He added, "This is in response to an orchestrated campaign by pro-abortion groups across the country to use government agencies to coerce health care providers to participate in abortions."

The provision could affect millions of American women, according to Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, who warned Friday that she would use procedural tactics to slow Senate business to a crawl if the language was not altered.

"I am willing to stand on my feet and slow this thing down," Ms. Boxer said. "Everyone wants to go home, I know that, and I know I will not win a popularity contest in the Senate. But they should not be doing this. On a huge spending bill they're writing law, and they're taking away rights from women."

Ms. Boxer said that she complained to Senator Ted Stevens, the Alaska Republican who is the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, but that he told her that House Republican leaders insisted that the provision, which was approved by the House in July but never came to the Senate for a vote, be included in the measure.

"He said, 'Senator, they want it in, and it's going in,' " Ms. Boxer recalled.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Stevens, Melanie Alvord, said on Friday that her boss would have no comment on the spending bill because House and Senate negotiators had not settled on the final language.

Some lawmakers and Congressional aides interpreted the House leaders' insistence as reflection of the new political strength of the anti-abortion movement and of Christian conservatives, who played an important role in re-electing Mr. Bush this month.

"They are catering to their right wing doing this," said Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa. "It doesn't make it right. I think this is the first step."

Mr. Harkin said he intended to try to force a vote next year on support for upholding the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which legalized abortion. "I think it is time the women of America understand what is happening here," he said.

The spending measure, called an omnibus bill, was the main reason Congress returned to Washington after the election, and members of both parties say that despite Ms. Boxer's warnings, it is likely to pass with the abortion language intact.

The alternative is to let government funding for a wide array of agencies - like the F.B.I., the National Park Service and the Environmental Protection Agency - run out, in effect causing a partial government shutdown.

Lawmakers in the House and the Senate intended to vote on the omnibus bill on Saturday, when a stopgap spending measure is set to expire at midnight. Congress failed to pass 9 of its 13 required spending bills before its election recess, leaving much of the government - with the exception of the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security - to operate under the interim measure.

The 11th-hour controversy over the abortion language capped a long and chaotic day Friday. In the House, the ethics committee ruled that a Democratic lawmaker had brought exaggerated charges against Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, the majority leader, a finding that provoked another round of bitter recriminations between Republicans and Democrats.

In the Senate, the Democratic leader, Tom Daschle of South Dakota, who lost his re-election bid, delivered a poignant farewell speech that brought him a standing ovation.

"It's had its challenges, its triumphs, its disappointments," Mr. Daschle said of his 26-year career in Congress, which included a decade as the Democratic leader. "But everything was worth doing."

Mr. Daschle is the first Senate party leader in more than half a century to lose a re-election campaign. His emotional talk, in which he also urged his colleagues to find "common ground," was attended by nearly all of the Senate's Democrats, who gathered him in their arms and hugged him afterward.

But only a few Republicans showed up, and Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, who broke with Senate tradition to campaign against Mr. Daschle in his home state, South Dakota, did not appear until after Mr. Daschle finished speaking. The scant Republican showing provoked Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, Democrat of New Jersey, to speak out. "I don't know why, why in the closing days, some element of comity, some element of grace, some element of respect for a human being, could not have gotten some of our friends out of their offices," Mr. Lautenberg said.

Outside the Senate chamber, the common ground Mr. Daschle spoke of seemed hard to find. House and Senate negotiators were still trying to salvage a reorganization of the nation's intelligence agencies. And Ms. Boxer was trying to negotiate changes to the abortion language, she said, with little success.

Louise Melling, director of the Reproductive Freedom Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, which has opposed the provision, said it would effectively strip states of their right to "enforce laws that were designed to protect women's health."

For instance, she said, there are four states - Hawaii, Maryland, New York and Washington - that pay for some abortions for low-income women through their Medicaid programs. Under the language included in the omnibus bill, hospitals would not have to comply with those requirements.

On Friday, nine female senators - eight Democrats and one Republican, Olympia J. Snowe of Maine - wrote a letter to Senator Stevens asking that the language be changed and complaining that it had not gone through committee or to the Senate floor for a vote.

Ms. Snowe called the language "a bad provision" that would "adversely affect reproductive health access for women across the country." She added, "It is an ill-advised policy that is clearly harmful to women."

The bill generally holds spending to the level sought by the White House. The huge measure also contains scores of home-state projects sought by lawmakers.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

November 5th, 2005, 12:25 PM
I have long been amazed at those who defend Roe vs. Wade and their complicity in the subjugation of our Constitutional system!

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce. ... The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State."---Federalist Paper No. 45 (http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/federal/fed45.htm)

Why do these people, the supporters of Roe vs. Wade, advocate a system of government in which the SCOTUS is free to impose its whims and fancies upon the people of the various states without the people’s consent and approval via an appropriate amendment? Where have the people agreed to delegate authority to the federal government to regulate the terms and conditions acceptable in terminating a pregnancy within a particular state’s borders?

Do the supporters of Roe vs. Wade not realize the case is very similar to the recent Kelo decision in which the SCOTUS likewise used its position of public trust to ignore the limited powers of the federal government, and ignore the meaning of “public use“ as related to eminent domain under the various state constitutions, and that the Court, without the people’s approval, extended the meaning of “public use” to now mean for “commercial use” which now allows the rich and powerful across our union to steal the property of the less influential?

Do the supporters of Roe vs. Wade not realize their advocacy of Roe vs. Wade supports the same thinking used by the Court in Gonzalez (Ashcroft) v Raich which was not about “medical marijuana“ or the use of drugs as portrayed by the establishment media? The case was once again about the unauthorized exercise of power by the rich and powerful via the federal court system and their undoing of the limited power granted by the people to Congress to regulate commerce “among” the states, not within.

What these cases all have in common is, the SCOTUS ignoring the intent and beliefs under which We the People adopted the Constitution and can be documented from Madison’s Notes (http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/debates/debcont.htm), the Federalists (http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/federal/fed.htm) and Anti Federalist Papers (http://www.constitution.org/afp/afp.htm), Elliot’s Debates (http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwed.html) and the Congressional Globe, 39th Congress (http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llcg&fileName=071/llcg071.db&recNum=334) [documenting the intent and beliefs under which the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted].

Roe vs. Wade is in fact just one case in a series of cases in which our folks in Washington, our public servants, have taken it upon themselves to set aside what the people agreed to, and have decided to do for the people what the people have not willing agreed to do for themselves. They have decided to impose their personal predilections upon the people without the People’s consent!

But Hamilton tells us:

.“Until the people have, by some solemn and authoritative act, annulled or changed the established form, it is binding upon themselves collectively, as well as individually; and no presumption, or even knowledge, of their sentiments, can warrant their representatives in a departure from it, prior to such an act. But it is easy to see, that it would require an uncommon portion of fortitude in the judges to do their duty as faithful guardians of the Constitution, where legislative invasions of it had been instigated by the major voice of the community.”

Hamilton, Federalist 78 (http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/federal/fed78.htm)

Indeed, the servant has become the master over those who created a servant and the new servant pays tribute, through taxation, to a gangster government which ignores our most fundamental laws----our state and the united State’s Constitutions!

Only domestic enemies of our constitutional system would support such tyranny, which includes those who would not joyfully overturn Roe vs. Wade!

The incontrovertible truth is, the words of our founding fathers, as found in Madison’s Notes,the Federalists and Anti Federalist Papers, and Elliot’s Debates, , and which express a consensus of the intentions and beliefs under which the Constitution was adopted, is the anchor and rudder of our constitutional system, and acts to expose the evil nature of our domestic enemies, right wing militants and left wing militants, who claim the Constitution may mean whatever they wish it to mean.


[I]"If the Constitution was ratified under the belief, sedulously propagated on all sides, that such protection was afforded, would it not now be a fraud upon the whole people to give a different construction to its powers?"---Justice Story

TLOZ Link5
November 5th, 2005, 12:46 PM
Much like how the SCOTUS was overstepping its boundaries with Brown v. Board of Education?

I really hate the new editing format.

November 30th, 2005, 03:31 PM
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-113005scotus_lat,0,1419176.story?coll=la-home-headlines (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-113005scotus_lat,0,1419176.story?coll=la-home-headlines)
Justices Stay Evenhanded on Abortion Case

By David G. Savage
Times Staff Writer

11:52 AM PST, November 30, 2005

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court justices sounded as though they were in surprising agreement today on how to fairly resolve a New Hampshire abortion case without making a major change in the law.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., hearing his first abortion case, led the way in proposing a means to protect young girls in cases of medical emergencies while preserving the principle that a parent must be notified nearly all the time.

Two years ago, New Hampshire lawmakers said doctors must notify a parent of a girl under age 18 at least 48 hours in advance before they perform an abortion. An exception was included for a girl whose life was in danger.

Abortion rights groups challenged the law as unconstitutional because it did not permit doctors to act quickly in the face of a medical emergency that could endanger the health of the woman, though not necessarily her life.

A state judge could waive this requirement, but the challengers said girls facing a medical crisis should go to a hospital, not a courthouse. Because the law failed to deal with health emergencies, lower courts struck down the entire New Hampshire law as unconstitutional.

The case came before a closely split high court today, and it threatened to reopen a divide on how judges should deal with disputed abortion regulations.

Instead, the justices seemed most interested in resolving the narrow issue before them, rather than taking on a larger battle over abortion.

"What's wrong with a pre-enforcement challenge brought by the physicians?" Roberts asked a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union.

The doctors could seek a court order that would allow them to act quickly when they were faced with a health crisis that called for an immediate abortion, he said.

"This is a problem that arises only in emergency situations," he said. "The vast majority of situations don't involve emergencies."

By the end of the hourlong argument, most of the justices, including its strong supporters of abortion rights, said that solution made sense.

"Why wouldn't that be entirely adequate" to resolve the case? Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked. "There would be no regulation of medical emergencies, and you would have no complaint," she told Jennifer Dalven, the ACLU lawyer.

Dalven replied that the New Hampshire lawmakers should have written a constitutional law. "They could have enacted a medical emergency exception, and we could have all gone home," she said.

Roberts was not alone in devising a direct solution to the New Hampshire case.

U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, representing the Bush administration, proposed a similar idea in the brief he filed with the court. He argued that the judges had made a mistake in striking down the entire state law mandating that abortion doctors notify the parents of a minor girl.

Instead, Clement said the judges should have told the ACLU lawyers to seek a court order that targeted medical emergencies.

He repeated that argument today, saying there is nothing unconstitutional about requiring doctors to notify a girl's parents in most situations. "It is literally a one in 1,000 situation" where a doctor will need to perform an abortion without taking the time to notify a parent, he said.

Kelly Ayotte, the New Hampshire attorney general who appealed the case to the high court, said she agreed that in the "rare case" of a medical emergency, doctors should be allowed to act quickly to perform an abortion.

Currently, six of the justices — John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony M. Kennedy, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer — have voted to uphold a woman's right to have an abortion. O'Connor has announced her retirement and will leave when President Bush's next nominee wins confirmation by the Senate.

Two justices — Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas — want to repeal the right to abortion set in Roe vs. Wade. Roberts has yet to take a stand on that issue.

The justices will meet privately to decide on the case of Ayotte vs. Planned Parenthood, and the tenor of argument suggested that most of them will agree on a compromise solution.

It would call on judges to reinstate New Hampshire's law on parental notification, but call for a court order that would exempt doctors whose young patients faced a medical emergency.

Copyright 2005 Los Angeles Times

TLOZ Link5
November 30th, 2005, 04:01 PM
What about in cases where the girl was raped by her father? Would she need parental notification then, or would that be considered a case where her life was in danger?

December 6th, 2005, 12:25 PM
Hawaii Supreme Court:
The Unborn Are 'Not Human Beings'

By Rev. Mark H. Creech
The Right Frame of Mind
December 5, 2005


(AgapePress) - Wednesday, November 30, the Supreme Court of Hawaii overturned the manslaughter conviction of Tayshea Aiwohi. The 32-year-old woman had been previously found guilty for causing the death of her newborn son by smoking crystal methamphetamine three days before his birth and on the morning he was delivered.

The State's High Court unanimously ruled that Aiwohi's son was an unborn fetus at the time she abused crystal meth, and therefore not a person. WorldNetDaily rightly characterized the decision in this fashion, saying that in Hawaii unborn children are "'not human beings,' and therefore women cannot be prosecuted for causing the death of babies by harmful behavior during their pregnancies."

According to the Honolulu Star Bulletin, Hawaii's penal code states that a person is defined as "'a human being who has been born and is alive.' Most states allow for the prosecution of a person for violence against a pregnant woman resulting in the death of her child after birth. Thirty-four states have 'fetal homicide' laws allowing prosecution of a person for causing the death of a fetus. Most infamously, Scott Peterson faces the death penalty in California for his conviction of two counts of murder for the deaths of his wife, Laci, and their unborn child."

But in Hawaii there is no such law. And so open-ended is the matter in Hawaii, Justice Paula Nakayama wrote "that 'the logical implication' from the Aiwohi ruling is that a person who attacks a pregnant woman, causing the child's death after birth, 'also cannot be prosecuted [for the child's death] under the manslaughter statute, inasmuch as the Legislature has not included fetuses within the definition of the term 'person.'"

However, under the new federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act -- also known as "Laci and Conner's Law," enacted by Congress in the wake of the murder of Laci Peterson and her unborn son, Conner, by Laci's husband, Scott Peterson -- any person who perpetrates violence against a pregnant woman and causes the death of her fetus can be prosecuted. Still, mothers are protected from their own injurious actions to their unborn child, while others are not.

Hawaii's Supreme Court ruling in the Aiwohi case and the State's penal code clearly define personhood on the basis of functionalism. In other words, what one does defines one's status as a person; persons are defined by certain functions and behaviors. The Holy Scriptures, however, define one's personhood not by what one does but by what one is -- a human soul made in the image of God. One needn't be "born and is alive" to achieve such a status, only conceived.

Peter Kreeft with the American Life League (http://www.all.org/) rightly contends that functionalism has largely arisen with the erosion of the family. He writes: "Our civilization is dying primarily because the family is dying. Half of our families commit suicide, for divorce is the family committing suicide qua family. But the family is the place where you learn that you are loved not because of what you do, your function, but because of who you are." Kreeft, therefore, further notes that consequently the new "Quality of Life Ethic" is replacing the old "Sanctity of Life Ethic." "In this new ethic," he writes, "a human life is judged as valuable and worth living if and only if the judgers decide that it performs at a certain level."

This new approach is a matter of extreme danger in that it leads to a frightening form of despotism. For who decides the social utility of one's existence? As Kreeft argues: "When it is in the self-interest of certain people to kill certain other people, whether fetuses, or the dying, or enemies of the state, or Jews, or Armenians, or Cambodians, or heretics, or prophets, the killers will simply define their victims as non-persons by pointing out that they do not meet certain criteria. Who determines the criteria? Those in power, of course."

Moreover, the Aiwohi case and current federal law which protects a woman's so-called "right" to choose, as well protects her from her own detrimental actions against her fetus, is remarkably reminiscent of the attitudes reflected at the time of the notable Dredd Scott case (1856-57).

In the Dred Scott decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Negro slaves nor their descendants could have rights or be considered citizens. The Court at that time essentially said people of African ancestry were not people, but simply the property of the slave owner. Abolitionists fought for the human rights of slaves when the prevailing notion was that a black man didn't even have a soul. Blacks were neither considered human beings or persons, only chattel.

Cecil Hook of Freedom's Ring, in an insightful article titled "Human Chattel (http://www.freedomsring.org/ftc/chap29.html)," argues: "Who would have thought that, more than a century after the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War, we would hear the infamous Dred Scott case revived so loudly and adamantly? Once it was the slave and his child who had no rights or soul; now it is the unborn child who has neither rights nor soul. In those times a master could deal with his slave as chattel; now the unborn is regarded as disposable property possessed by the mother -- a part of her body which she can destroy without conscience."

Interestingly, when Abraham Lincoln spoke out against the Dredd Scott decision, he cited the Declaration of Independence's proclamation that all men are "created equal" with certain "unalienable rights," among which are "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Lincoln then went on to say that the Founding Fathers "did not mean to assert the obvious untruth, that all then were actually enjoying that equality, nor yet, that they were about to confer it immediately upon them .... They meant simply to declare the right, so that enforcement of it might follow as circumstances should permit. They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society, which should be familiar to all, and revered by all; constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence, and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all ...."

Indeed! And may God hasten the day when the unalienable (God-given) right to life is restored for the unborn "person."

© 2005 AgapePress all rights reserved.

December 6th, 2005, 02:49 PM
I HAVE to disagree with this one.

If that kid was taken out of her THAT DAY and placed on a table, it would have been alive. There is NO question in my mind that that kid was a viable human being.

If this was 3 months before birth, the line gets a lot fuzzier (especiallyt with medical technology being able to keep kids alive earlier and earlier), but 3 days?

She should die of an OD.

December 6th, 2005, 07:20 PM
I agree with Ninja

December 7th, 2005, 12:40 AM
Nothing like a bunch of men arguing about abortion... Here's a NY-centric post from feministe (http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2005/12/06/the-abortion-capital-of-america/) for a change of pace:

New York has the highest abortion rate in the United States. One in ten abortions is performed here, and seventy percent of those are performed in New York City. But it’s not because New Yorkers are abortion-crazed heathens — it’s because New York has historically been, and continues to be, a haven of safe and accessible abortion.

Women come from all over the country to have abortions in New York. Here, low-income residents can pay for their procedures through state Medicaid funds. There are no parental consent laws, meaning that girls in this state don’t have to cross state lines or risk abuse to terminate a pregnancy. There are no waiting periods, so that when women decide to terminate a pregnancy, they can do it early — no repeat clinic visits, no paternalistic “go home and think about it” requirements.

And New Yorkers have made it this way.
New York becomes more pro-choice every year. After years of electoral free fall, the New York Right to Life Party failed to win enough votes in 2002 to stay on the ballot. The party doesn’t even have a Website anymore. The New York Right to Life Committee, which founded the national anti-abortion movement in 1967, hasn’t had a legislative victory in years. No pro-life candidate can win statewide office in New York. Ambitious Republicans climbing toward the governor’s mansion, like George Pataki, and now John Faso, hastily ditch their pro-life pasts. New York City’s mayor is one of the most pro-choice politicians in the country.
It’s worth noting that before Roe, New York passed the most permissive legal abortion law in the country — women who could afford it came in droves to safely and legally terminate their pregnancies here. This trend continues now with low-income women, whose home states employ various anti-choice policies limiting their access to the procedure.

This article also points out that abortion, in NY and in the US, is nothing new. A study from 1868 found that one in five pregnancies in New York City ended with abortion (so much for the argument that abortion is caused by sexual freedom and access to the birth control pill).

It was an NYU Law paper that first proposed that the right to abortion was included under the right to privacy. In New York City, specifically through the progressive Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square Park, a network of clergy and doctors worked together to provide women access with safe abortions — similar networks were happening across the country, like JANE in Chicago. When NARAL was formed, they focused on New York first, and were successful in passing the country’s first abortion-rights legislation.
The statistics from the time show that one of the benefits of legalization in New York was that New York women were having abortions earlier. The Alan Guttmacher Institute reported that no more than 10 percent of the city’s residents in 1972 had abortions after twelve weeks of pregnancy. For women traveling to New York City from non-border states, the rate of abortions after twelve weeks was 23 percent because of the time it took to find a provider and arrange travel and lodging in the city, especially difficult for young women who had barely ever left their own state.
The other obvious lesson from the seventies is that women with resources almost always have access to abortion. For those who couldn’t afford a trip to New York, coat hangers and knitting needles, the ghastly symbols of the early abortion-rights movement, remained a fact of life.
New Yorkers continue to have access to abortion, and even low-income residents here are able to terminate unwanted pregnancies early because of Medicaid funding. But as it’s always been for women in anti-choice states, the “right to choose” rings a little hollow:
The few existing studies on states that have passed abortion restrictions confirm the obvious: Women who want abortions leave the state to have them. Mandatory-delay laws, now on the books in 24 states, require a woman to wait usually 24 hours before getting an abortion. The versions that are the most effective in stopping abortions require women to make two trips to the provider, an obstacle for some who have to travel long distances, take days off work, or arrange day care. The most comprehensive study of these two-trip laws, a 1997 Journal of the American Medical Association paper on Mississippi’s experience, showed that three things happened in the state after the law went into effect. Total abortions went down by 12 percent. The percentage of late abortions (after twelve weeks) went up by 40 percent. And the percentage of Mississippians going out of state for abortions also went up by 40 percent. “For an economist, those are really strong behavioral responses to the law,” says Ted Joyce, the paper’s lead author.
Parental consent laws have similar effects:
“When Massachusetts imposed a consent statute, abortion rates fell a lot, 43 percent among minors,” says Joyce. “Yet if you measured abortion rates by state of residence, there was no change. Kids just poured across the border.”
Enter The New Underground Abortion Railroad (http://www.nymetro.com/nymetro/news/features/15249/index.html). I’ve written about my experience volunteering with the Haven Coalition numerous times before, because the work that they do is so important. This article is interesting in that it explores the class differences and discomforts between the host and the patient — the women who use Haven are mostly black and Latina and always poor, while the hosts tend to be white, college-educated and middle-income. The majority of these women come to New York for second-trimester procedures because they lacked any other choice. Medicaid wouldn’t cover their procedures. They’re working at minimum-wage jobs, or not working at all — of the women I’ve met through Haven, one was a 14-year-old girl who obviously didn’t have an independent income (her incredibly supportive mother who came with her had five other children, one who herself has a child and just started college); one came from Florida, and worked two minimum wage jobs; another came from Pennsylvania and worked full-time as a drug store clerk while attending community college. It takes months for them to save up for an abortion, and they often have other children to take care of. It’s also difficult for them to take time off work, find childcare, and get to New York for the procedure.

For these women, the right to a legal abortion doesn’t mean a whole lot. Read both articles, but especially the first one. It’s eye-opening.

December 7th, 2005, 09:28 AM
Basically all it is saying is that no matter how you structure the law, these women will have them.

You either give them the right to choose, or they will find some other route. The whole idea that somehow women are commonly using this as birth control and can do it at the drop of a hat is like saying that men can go in for Prostate Exams without any hesitancy.

I think certain buffers are needed on any plan, as they are shown to be abused by the few. But for the many to benefit from this, the choice must be left open, and the focus needs to be changed to encouraging more education and use of birth control in the first place.

March 8th, 2006, 08:19 PM
Grasping at straws ...

Men's Rights Group Eyes Child Support Stay

AP National Writer
March 8, 2006

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060308/ap_on_re_us/fatherhood_suit&printer=1;_ylt=AsM5362BnAp2KZhwdxlRcG5H2ocA;_ylu=X 3oDMTA3MXN1bHE0BHNlYwN0bWE-

Contending that women have more options than they do in the event of an unintended pregnancy, men's rights activists are mounting a long shot legal campaign aimed at giving them the chance to opt out of financial responsibility for raising a child.

The National Center for Men has prepared a lawsuit — nicknamed Roe v. Wade for Men — to be filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Michigan on behalf of a 25-year-old computer programmer ordered to pay child support for his ex-girlfriend's daughter. The suit addresses the issue of male reproductive rights, contending that lack of such rights violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause.

The gist of the argument: If a pregnant woman can choose among abortion, adoption or raising a child, a man involved in an unintended pregnancy should have the choice of declining the financial responsibilities of fatherhood. The activists involved hope to spark discussion even if they lose.

"There's such a spectrum of choice that women have — it's her body, her pregnancy and she has the ultimate right to make decisions," said Mel Feit, director of the men's center. "I'm trying to find a way for a man also to have some say over decisions that affect his life profoundly."

Feit's organization has been trying since the early 1990s to pursue such a lawsuit, and finally found a suitable plaintiff in Matt Dubay of Saginaw, Mich.

Dubay says he has been ordered to pay $500 a month in child support for a girl born last year to his ex-girlfriend. He contends that the woman knew he didn't want to have a child with her and assured him repeatedly that — because of a physical condition — she could not get pregnant.

Dubay is braced for the lawsuit to fail.

"What I expect to hear (from the court) is that the way things are is not really fair, but that's the way it is," he said in a telephone interview. "Just to create awareness would be enough, to at least get a debate started."

State courts have ruled in the past that any inequity experienced by men like Dubay is outweighed by society's interest in ensuring that children get financial support from two parents. Melanie Jacobs, a Michigan State University law professor, said the federal court might rule similarly in Dubay's case.

"The courts are trying to say it may not be so fair that this gentleman has to support a child he didn't want, but it's less fair to say society has to pay the support," she said.

Feit, however, says a fatherhood opt-out wouldn't necessarily impose higher costs on society or the mother. A woman who balked at abortion but felt she couldn't afford to raise a child could put the baby up for adoption, he said.

Jennifer Brown of the women's rights advocacy group Legal Momentum objected to the men's center comparing Dubay's lawsuit to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling establishing a woman's right to have an abortion.

"Roe is based on an extreme intrusion by the government — literally to force a woman to continue a pregnancy she doesn't want," Brown said. "There's nothing equivalent for men. They have the same ability as women to use contraception, to get sterilized."

Feit counters that the suit's reference to abortion rights is apt.

"Roe says a woman can choose to have intimacy and still have control over subsequent consequences," he said. "No one has ever asked a federal court if that means men should have some similar say."

"The problem is this is so politically incorrect," Feit added. "The public is still dealing with the pre-Roe ethic when it comes to men, that if a man fathers a child, he should accept responsibility."

Feit doesn't advocate an unlimited fatherhood opt-out; he proposes a brief period in which a man, after learning of an unintended pregnancy, could decline parental responsibilities if the relationship was one in which neither partner had desired a child.

"If the woman changes her mind and wants the child, she should be responsible," Feit said. "If she can't take care of the child, adoption is a good alternative."

The president of the National Organization for Women, Kim Gandy, acknowledged that disputes over unintended pregnancies can be complex and bitter.

"None of these are easy questions," said Gandy, a former prosecutor. "But most courts say it's not about what he did or didn't do or what she did or didn't do. It's about the rights of the child."

On the Net: http://www.nationalcenterformen.org/ (http://www.nationalcenterformen.org/)

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press

March 8th, 2006, 11:32 PM
Grasping at straws ...

Men's Rights Group Eyes Child Support Stay

AP National Writer
March 8, 2006

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060308/ap_on_re_us/fatherhood_suit&printer=1;_ylt=AsM5362BnAp2KZhwdxlRcG5H2ocA;_ylu=X 3oDMTA3MXN1bHE0BHNlYwN0bWE-

Contending that women have more options than they do in the event of an unintended pregnancy, men's rights activists are mounting a long shot legal campaign aimed at giving them the chance to opt out of financial responsibility for raising a child.

The problem with this lawsuit is that it doesn't deal with married men's reproductive, procreative and adoptive rights within marriage, men's right to advocate abortions for the wives and daughters of married men, or men's right to medically abort women in the first place.

I could argue that unmarried persons don't have any right to reproduce at all. So, in cases like this lawsuit deals with, an unmarried woman could be forced to abort if she and her lover-boy can't, or don't want, to get married.

March 9th, 2006, 11:06 AM
I could argue that unmarried persons don't have any right to reproduce at all ... an unmarried woman could be forced to abort if she and her lover-boy can't, or don't want, to get married.
Would you be so helpful as to specify the law which would back up your argument?

March 9th, 2006, 12:41 PM
Scary ...

The President and the Scientists

The New Yorker
Issue: 2006-03-13
Posted: 2006-03-06


This week in the magazine, Michael Specter writes about the uneasy relationship between science and government in the Bush Administration.

Here, Specter discusses the article.

THE NEW YORKER: In your article this week, you write about the Bush Administration’s hostility to science. Broadly speaking, what does that mean?

MICHAEL SPECTER: I’m not sure I would use the word “hostility.” The Administration simply doesn’t seem to rely on the advice of scientists on a wide range of issues: climate change, pollution, and biomedical research, for example. Previous Administrations have taken science as an area that is above the political fray—this one does not seem to operate that way.

The opposition to science seems to have a number of strains, many religious.You write about how the Administration is vehemently opposed to “any drug, vaccine, or initiative that could be interpreted as lessening the risks associated with premarital sex.” Do policymakers have some other rationale, or is this more of a straightforward agenda?

Well, the Bush Administration is squarely on the record in favor of abstinence as the main approach to issues such as H.I.V. and abortion. Few groups, by the way, oppose abstinence as an approach, and many see it as an excellent first line of defense. Unfortunately, however, it doesn’t always work, and, when it does, it rarely works for long. Nonetheless, the Administration—and many of its allies among conservatives and the religious right—places far more emphasis on abstinence than on teaching children other methods of birth control and protection against sexually transmitted diseases.

What are some of the other branches of science that are suffering? For instance, you write about stem-cell research in your article.

Stem-cell research is considered by many to be the most exciting area of biomedical research. But, because it relies on human embryos, President Bush decided in 2001 that public funding for the work would be limited to those lines of cells that already existed. There are other difficult issues in the current Administration, though. The scientific recommendations of the Environmental Protection Agency have often been ignored by this Administration, and sometimes decisions on environmental policy have been heavily influenced by former, or even current, allies of industry. Climate change is another area, and so, in many ways, is nasa. President Bush has said he wants to send people to Mars. But critics say that such a program would simply take money away from more useful research.

How much of this is a response to lobbying forces, such as fundamentalist Christian pressure?

It’s not so easy to disentangle the Administration and the Christian right. The President is an evangelical Christian and so are many people in his Administration. On many issues, though, industrial lobbyists hold sway. It must also be added that stem-cell research poses moral dilemmas that many Americans find hard to resolve—so to say that it’s blindly immoral to even question stem-cell research is, in my opinion, not fair.

What are the issues of federal funding in stem-cell research? Are they so prohibitive that they have essentially hamstrung a generation of scientists?

Well, the government does not fund research that involves stem cells, because you have to destroy an embryo to carry it out. Many people feel that destroying an embryo is akin to killing a living person—and the Bush Administration has drawn a moral line at that. Such research—all major biomedical research these days—is complex, and expensive. If you are at a university and you want to do embryonic stem-cell work, you could do so only with private funds; nothing from the government can pay for the work. This can get tricky even for rich institutions like Harvard, since equipment in labs can be very expensive and groups routinely share equipment. When stem-cell research is involved, the equipment needs to be accounted for in a different way and often bought with segregated funds.

Your article also touches on a number of personnel and staffing issues—scientists who have quit in protest over the Administration’s decisions, advisory boards that have been dismantled or remain unstaffed as a result of new vetting procedures. Does the Bush Administration require that its scientists agree with its political goals? How do past Administrations compare in this regard?

No Administration is eager to hire people who are virulently opposed to its goals. Yet, in the past, there has usually been a general feeling that scientists are above—or at least on the sidelines of—politics, and that they should be given jobs based purely on their ability to carry them out. That is a little utopian, and, of course, it doesn’t always work that way. But this Administration, more than any in memory, seems very aggressive about making certain that its scientific advisors support its ideas. And, if they don’t, their advice is often ignored.

Many of the scientists and public-health officials in your article talk about science as being apolitical. But is it? Ethics and science go hand in hand, and scientists are faced with moral questions all the time. Is there such a thing as a disinterested scientist, in this sense?

It’s naïve to assume that science is apart from, rather than a part of, society. Still, there is such a thing as a man or a woman pursuing an idea solely for the intellectual fruit it might bear, and trying to work it out without regard to who votes for whom or what the ethical implications might be. (This, by the way, is not necessarily a good thing. We do need scientists to think about the possible implications of their work—which these days can touch on the most fundamental issues in life.)

Are we losing ground in science as a nation? Are other countries doing better science, and doing more of it? Are there economic as well as medical costs?

We are still immensely powerful, successful, and full of talent. Yet the sense that we are invincible as a nation of scientists is starting to fade. If the investments that China, South Korea, India, and the European Union make in research and education continue to grow at such a rapid rate, then it is hard to see how the result can be anything but a loss of prominence, innovation, and prestige.

How do you think America will compare with India and China ten years from now?

It depends. We still have the largest and most sophisticated institutions and lots of smart people. We just need to keep open the lines of education and the ability to pursue intellectual solutions to basic problems.

There have been some recent victories for science—most notably, the defeat of intelligent-design instruction in Dover, Pennsylvania. Are there signs that there may be a backlash against anti-science sentiment, and a resurgence of science?

Except for Dover, which was driven by an unusually thorough, cogent, and powerful federal-court decision, I can’t say that I see many signs of a resurgence of support for science.

What about global warming? What does the science tell us, and how is this Administration responding to it? How is the American population responding to it?

Global warming is coming—or is already here, depending on your interpretation of the data. The government has responded by worrying about its economic place in the world rather than about the physical future of the world. It’s complicated, because we need not just to burn fewer fossil fuels, but to be sure China and India do the same. Still, America needs to lead, and it has stopped doing that. We need to develop alternative sources of energy, and that is well within the intellectual and technical abilities of this country.
Still, most Americans will worry about global warming seriously only when it affects their wallets in a demonstrable way, or when their health, or that of their children, becomes measurably worse. We are not exactly known for our foresight on these issues.

What are the costs of an anti-science Administration like this one, in both the short term and the long term? Is it possible that we’re witnessing the beginning of a major shift away from Enlightenment thinking, or is that too alarmist a reading of the effect of one Administration’s policies?

That’s a little alarmist, I hope. We are in an age when almost anything is technically possible in science. We can break humans down to the smallest component parts. We can mix parts and grow new ones (or soon will). We can manipulate nature and, soon enough, we will even be able to choose the genetic components of our children. None of this is easy to take, and a reaction is understandable. The job of the Administration, and of educators, is to convince people that these powerful new tools can help immensely and not just cause harm. In the short term, that is not happening and we are probably losing some good young people who might otherwise enter science.
But a few years from now—maybe 2008, to take a random date—the situation could improve markedly.

Copyright © CondéNet 2006

March 9th, 2006, 09:17 PM
Would you be so helpful as to specify the law which would back up your argument?
I would only argue as a legal theorist since there are no laws on the books requiring unmarried woman to abort at this time. However, the principle of terminating unwanted pregnancies by abortive medical procedures has become well established in law for over 30 years now, and it would be a case of gender and religious discrimination to deny Christian men the right to have their babies aborted when Jewish medical men and women already have the right to perform abortions on Christian women.

March 9th, 2006, 10:14 PM
Hogwash ^

Any licensed medical practitioner is free to perform abortions in accordance with the law if they choose to do so.

However if you could provide some FACTS and SUBSTANTIATION then I might be willing to consider your argument.

Meanwhile, another front on this war ...

Tennessee senate wades into abortion fight

Associated Press Writer
March 9, 2006


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The state Senate on Thursday passed a proposal to amend the Tennessee Constitution so that it doesn't guarantee a woman's right to an abortion.

The 24-9 vote was the first step of many toward officially amending the state constitution. The measure would go before voters if the General Assembly approves it twice over the next two years.

The state Supreme Court has ruled that the Tennessee Constitution grants women a greater right to abortion than the U.S. Constitution.

Abortion rights supporters are attacking the measure as a stepping stone to prohibiting all abortions in Tennessee if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the landmark abortion decision in Roe v. Wade.

"The resolution is an all-out attack on the women of Tennessee and seeks to rob women of their right to make choices about their own health, safety and personal welfare," said Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee.

Sen. David Fowler, a Republican sponsor of the bill, proposed a similar resolution last year that cleared the Senate but stalled in a House committee.

"I regret this will cast me as being hardhearted, unsympathetic and unkind but that's not who I am," Fowler said.

Tennessee has a long process for amending its constitution, requiring approval by both chambers in session of the General Assembly, two-thirds approval by both chambers in the next session, and then approval by voters.

Several states are considering restrictions on abortion that eventually could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court. South Dakota's governor signed a law Monday that would prohibit all abortions except those necessary to save a mother's life.

Some opponents of abortion rights hope the additions of Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito will make the court more likely to overturn Roe v. Wade, although a majority of the court still appears to support the 1973 ruling.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

March 9th, 2006, 10:55 PM
Any licensed medical practitioner is free to perform abortions in accordance with the law if they choose to do so.
That's the problem though. We end up with feminist atheists and secular Jewish men doing abortions on Catholic and Protestant women whether they are married or not.

However if you could provide some FACTS and SUBSTANTIATION then I might be willing to consider your argument.
What facts and substantiation do you need when everyone knows this is the case. You don't think any Catholic hospitals are providing abortions for anyone, do you?

Meanwhile, another front on this war ...

Tennessee senate wades into abortion fight

Associated Press Writer
March 9, 2006


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The state Senate on Thursday passed a proposal to amend the Tennessee Constitution so that it doesn't guarantee a woman's right to an abortion.
Good. If the SCOTUS has any sense left, it will turn the whole bloody mess back to the respective states and their people.

45 million butchered babies is more of a holocaust than we can bear, especially when some secular Jewish medical doctors are the one's killing Catholic and Protestant babies. God forbid should any Jews, Muslims or Christians be aborting Jewish babies.

March 9th, 2006, 11:05 PM
I am going to tell you this only once.

If you don't change the tone of your posts, they will be deleted.

March 9th, 2006, 11:41 PM
....especially when some secular Jewish medical doctors are the one's killing Catholic and Protestant babies. God forbid should any Jews, Muslims or Christians be aborting Jewish babies.

Are you really trying to say that a jewish woman has never asked for an abortion by a non-jewish Doctor?

And of course, these secular jews are "killing Catholic and Protestant babies" against the will of their Catholic and Protestant parents?

What color is the sky in your protestant world if I may ask?

March 10th, 2006, 12:57 AM
Anti-Abortion Advocates? Bring 'Em On, Texan Says

By ROBIN FINN (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/f/robin_finn/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
NY Times
March 10, 2006


CECILE RICHARDS, the new and instantly embattled president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, would like those retro "folks" — her word — intent on knocking her organization, and the entire abortion (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/a/abortion/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) rights movement, off the map to know she takes after her maternal grandmother.

That would be the tall, whip-thin woman who, nine-months pregnant and bedridden, took a timeout from home-birthing a future governor of Texas — Ms. Richards's mother, Ann — to wring the neck of the chicken her family was having for dinner. Plucky.

"I love the idea of that story, and I'm sure it's true," says Ms. Richards, a 5-foot-10 (not counting high heels) antithesis of a shrinking violet. She's got magnetism and works it. It's all in the drawl.

Her arrival at her office in Planned Parenthood's New York City headquarters, which she has yet to personalize — except for an Annie Leibovitz portrait of Ann Richards wearing chaps and a can-do glare, and a mechanical dog that's the spitting image of her mini-dachshund — has coincided with a law in South Dakota that makes it a felony to perform an abortion unless a pregnant woman's life is in danger and a perceived threat to Roe v. Wade. Six states seem poised to follow: if this is a trend, she says, it is not a progressive one.

The mood at Planned Parenthood is a mix of indignation and exhilaration.

"I think it's going to be extremely hard for the average American to realize now that these people are talking about criminalizing abortion," she sputters.

"The folks who spend every day trying to put Planned Parenthood out of business are very political, very conservative, and they have an unbelievably sympathetic president and administration in Washington. Maybe it will be a bit of a wake-up call to everybody else in this country — is this a right that women have, or is this a right that politicians can take away?"

She is aware that the other side is just as passionate, and, more important, that the recent appointment of two new Supreme Court justices by the Bush administration appears to have fueled their incentive. So two weeks into her job, Ms. Richards, 48, a married mother of three teenagers (the oldest is at Brandeis; the twins are still in Washington with dad and the dog waiting for an Upper West Side sublet to become available), is gearing up for the unthinkable: a politics-driven challenge to the women's rights precedent supposedly set in stone.

"Who knew it would actually happen, but I guess it's what I bargained for in general when I took this job," she says of the decision by Gov. Michael Rounds of South Dakota this week to sign the statute banning abortion.

"They're kind of going for broke to see if they can undo Roe. The consequences of the last election were enormous."

Ms. Richards ought to know. In her previous jobs as president of America Votes, a coalition of 30 liberal-leaning national organizations that spent $350 million on political activities in 2004, co-founder of America Coming Together, a political action committee created to challenge the Bush administration, and president of Pro-Choice Vote during the 2000 election cycle, she pushed for a different electoral result. America Votes survived the 2004 election, she says, but its candidates did not: "Operation Successful, Patient Died." No, her sense of humor did not perish with the pro-choice slate.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD serves five million Americans and concentrates 90 percent of its efforts on preventing unwanted pregnancies, Ms. Richards, says, not terminating them.

"No one does more to reduce the need for abortions in this country than Planned Parenthood. I would welcome legislators, including those from South Dakota, to work with us on family planning instead of focusing on making doctors and women criminals," she adds, rearranging the artfully mussed and gelled cap of platinum blond hair that, combined with her statuesque carriage, inspires stares from strangers mistaking her for the pop chanteuse Annie Lennox. She takes that as a compliment, too.

Ms. Richards was born in Waco, Tex., and grew up in Dallas and Austin. Her father was a lawyer, and her mother, who was found this week to have cancer, was a homemaker; it wasn't until she was at Brown University that her mother entered politics. By domestic default. Her father turned down an offer to run for county commissioner, so her mother ran instead and won.

Then came state treasurer, and after that, governor, a job she lost to George W. Bush (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/george_w_bush/index.html?inline=nyt-per).

At Brown, Ms. Richards was drawn to social issues: when the college's janitors and library workers sought better health care, she became involved, and after graduating she returned to Texas and organized garment workers.
She met her husband, Kirk Adams, an official of the Service Employees International Union, while organizing hotel workers in New Orleans.

"I've had the luxury all my life of having jobs where I got to feel like I was making an enormous difference in the lives of working people," she says, "and coming to Planned Parenthood is like coming full circle. I'm serving the women who grew up in the same families I was organizing. It feels totally right."

Copyright 2006 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html)The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

March 10th, 2006, 10:28 AM
From a political point of view this will be great for elections this year, all of the voter apathy of recent years might turn into activism. I think progressives will turn out in droves.

March 10th, 2006, 11:43 AM
I am going to tell you this only once.

If you don't change the tone of your posts, they will be deleted.

Funny, they don't seem that bad to me Zip....

This message is hidden because jcrawford is on your ignore list.


March 11th, 2006, 07:33 AM
Religious virgins eligible for South Dakota abortions

RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/)
March 10, 2006

http://rawstory.com/news/2006/Lawmaker_Religious_virgins_eligible_for_South_0310 .html

Resisting calls by moderates from both sides, as well as public statements by President Bush, South Dakota lawmakers have rejected the idea of allowing exemptions for cases of rape or incest to the state's abortion ban.

One backer of the bill, State Senator Bill Napoli, argued on PBS's Newshour that if a victim had followed strict religious guidelines, her life would be endangered by the pregnancy. Under this scenario, she would be eligible for an abortion.


FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Napoli says most abortions are performed for what he calls "convenience." He insists that exceptions can be made for rape or incest under the provision that protects the mother's life. I asked him for a scenario in which an exception may be invoked.

BILL NAPOLI: A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.

Transcript excerpt via Newshour online (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/law/jan-june06/abortion_3-03.html):



Fred de Sam Lazaro, Reporter
Online Newshour
March 3, 2006

South Dakota, already the state with the strictest abortion regulations, has passed a controversial law that prevents doctors from performing an abortion except in cases where the mother's life is in danger.

Editor's note: Gov. Mike Rounds signed the bill into law on March 6, 2006.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/images/common/video_link.gif (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/law/jan-june06/abortion_3-03.html#)

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/images/common/realaudio.gif (http://audio.pbs.org:8080/ramgen/newshour/expansion/2006/03/03/20060303_abort28.rm?altplay=20060303_abort28.rm)

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Just three-quarters of a million people share a lot of space in South Dakota. They share a single area code and a small capital. But lawmakers in Pierre have put South Dakota in the vanguard of a renewed campaign to outlaw abortion.

STATE SEN. JULIE BARTLING (D): There is a movement across this country on the wishes to save and protect the lives of unborn children. As you know, Justice Roberts and Justice Alito were just favorably placed on that board. There is still another chance that President Bush will have to place another justice on that bench. I think it's time to pass House Bill 1215 and protect the lives of the unborn.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Citing what they see as a more receptive or antiabortion high court, lawmakers easily approved a sweeping ban on the procedure, one that declares that life begins at conception.

South Dakota's law makes it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion unless the mother's life is endangered. There are no exceptions for cases in which a mother's health may be threatened or cases in which the pregnancy results from rape or incest.

STATE SEN. BILL NAPOLI (R): You know, I we are really think we're pushing the envelope on that issue. I'm not sure that the Supreme Court is ready for us yet, but what's that old saying, "There's no time like the present"?

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Veteran State Senator Bill Napoli strongly backed the new ban.

BILL NAPOLI: The most important part of this bill is that, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, states' rights are returned to us to decide what to do about abortion

A state with one abortion clinic

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Already, South Dakota is perhaps the most difficult place in the country to get an abortion. There's a 24-hour waiting period and mandatory counseling to discourage the procedure. The law requires parental notification in cases where the patient is a minor. Only one clinic, Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls, offers the procedure.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: Hail Mary, full of grace.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Often patients must drive past picketers. No local doctor will go near this clinic...so, one day each week, a physician flies in from Minnesota to provide abortions. It's a cause that drew Dr. Miriam McCreary out of retirement.


DR. MIRIAM MCCREARY, M.D.: I just remember from my practice how desperate women were, and I just wanted to be available to give them a safe abortion. There are doctors who can't do this, emotionally, possibly. But for me, I put myself in their position, and I want to treat them the way I'd want to be treated myself.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: One patient she saw was this woman, probably in her early 20s. She would not reveal even her age. With a low-paying job and two children, she said she simply could not afford a third.

"MICHELLE," PATIENT WHO TERMINATED HER PREGNANCY: It was difficult when I found out I was pregnant. I was saddened, because I knew that I'd probably have to make this decision. Like I said, I have two children, so I look into their eyes and I love them. It's been difficult, you know; it's not easy. And I don't think it's, you know, ever easy on a woman, but we need that choice.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: She drove here from more than five hours away. Besides legal and social sanction, distance is a big hurdle for many patients, one that will get even bigger if the new law takes effect.

Legislating women's health care

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Sarah Stoesz is the Minnesota-based CEO of the Sioux Falls clinic.


SARAH STOESZ, PLANNED PARENTHOOD: This proposed ban is a reprehensible attack on women's health care in South Dakota and across the country; it makes a bad situation completely intolerable for women.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Planned Parenthood is planning an immediate court challenge. Many antiabortion lawmakers agree the pro-choice group has a good case; that's why Senator Dave Knudson opposed the ban.

STATE SEN. DAVE KNUDSON (R): Even if recently confirmed Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito do not ultimately find Roe v. Wade to be settled precedent deserving of retention under the doctrine of stare decisis, but rather vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, there is still a 5-4 majority of the court, as presently constituted, to support Roe v. Wade. I do not believe it makes sense for South Dakota to lead the charge on this issue when we know the outcome.


FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Others said the bill simply went too far. Democratic Representative Clayton Halverson considers himself in the middle on this issue.

STATE REP. CLAYTON HALVERSON (D): In my opinion, the middle is: Allow the amendments we offered, which would include, in the case of rape, the option of abortion should be available; in the case of incest, the same thing goes; and when the mother's health or the health of the fetus, those are exceptions that I don't think should be ignored. And I believe that's the middle. That's where I think most of the people in our state fall.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: That's not how Senator Napoli reads public opinion in his state.

BILL NAPOLI: My calls have been running 3-1 in favor of this bill.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Napoli says most abortions are performed for what he calls "convenience." He insists that exceptions can be made for rape or incest under the provision that protects the mother's life. I asked him for a scenario in which an exception may be invoked.


BILL NAPOLI: A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.

A less sweeping approach

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: For his part, Governor Mike Rounds says he's inclined to sign the new bill into law, despite its dubious legal standing.

GOV. MIKE ROUNDS (R), SOUTH DAKOTA: I firmly believe that the possibility of Roe v. Wade being successfully challenged by this particular piece of legislation today I think is very, very remote.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Rounds prefers a less sweeping approach to restricting abortion; he says it would more likely pass legal muster. Still, the governor said the new law would be a good thing as a rallying cry for antiabortion forces.


GOV. ROUNDS: For those individuals that would feel discouraged that say, "Gee, we could have eliminated Roe v. Wade, but we've never had an opportunity in the last 15 years to do so," this is an opportunity to say, "See, there it is. The court may or may not, but it'll take us three years to find out." In the meantime, let's continue to work at chipping away at Roe v. Wade one step at a time.

STATE REP. ELAINE ROBERTS (D), SOUTH DAKOTA: We've chipped, and chipped, and chipped; now we're here with this full fledge. What will be next? What will be next?

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Democratic Representative Elaine Roberts is one of South Dakota's few pro-choice legislators. What's next, she fears, is a host of measures that regulate women's private lives.

ELAINE ROBERTS: We already have a law that says that pharmacists by conscience could refuse to fill my prescription for contraceptives. There is already a move from some groups who have worked on this to say that there should be no contraceptives, that sexual intercourse is for the purpose of reproduction.

A return to traditional values

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Much of what she fears as an assault on basic rights Senator Napoli sees as a return to traditional values.


BILL NAPOLI: When I was growing up here in the wild west, if a young man got a girl pregnant out of wedlock, they got married, and the whole darned neighborhood was involved in that wedding. I mean, you just didn't allow that sort of thing to happen, you know? I mean, they wanted that child to be brought up in a home with two parents, you know, that whole story. And so I happen to believe that can happen again.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: You really do?

BILL NAPOLI: Yes, I do. I don't think we're so far beyond that, that we can't go back to that.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO (voice-over): With the governor's signature, the abortion ban is supposed to take effect July 1st. But legal challenges or a possible petition drive to put it on the ballot could delay the measure up to three years, if it survives.

Copyright ©2006 MacNeil/Lehrer Productions. All Rights Reserved

April 2nd, 2006, 05:32 PM
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to offer abortions

By Auburn Hutton
Rapid City, SD
March 31, 2006


If South Dakota's abortion ban stands, it won't ban them from all parts of the state. The Oglala Sioux tribe president wants to open a women's clinic on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation that will offer abortions only if House Bill 1215 becomes law.

Cecilia Fire Thunder, President, Oglala Sioux Tribe:

"The best solution to abortion is to make sure that women have access to contraceptives, have access to family planning options, and that information needs to be out there at all times where all women of childbearing age have that information and use it."
For those reasons, Fire Thunder wants to open a women's clinic on Pine Ridge, providing women with birth control options and proper health care, and if 1215 passes the clinic would also provide abortions.

"We just want to make sure that something is done for women who make that decision. All we can do is provide that to them, no questions asked. It's their choice. It's between her and God and that unborn baby. And I honor that."

South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long says providing an abortion on the Pine Ridge Reservation is not unlawful because state law doesn't apply to sovereign land.

"Roe vs. Wade is a federal law. Pine Ridge is a reservation that is under the jurisdiction of federal laws more than state laws."

But that doesn't mean just anyone can get an abortion. Long says providing and receiving abortions would be illegal if the person performing it and the woman were both non-Indian.

Fire Thunder says she is still looking into the legalities behind opening the clinic, but feels that the Reservation is in desperate need of this type of care.

"We have around 30,000 people living at Pine Ridge, half of which are eighteen and under. So we're safe to say that maybe 8,000 of our residents are age 18 and under and female."

Plans are in place to build a clinic regardless of the outcome of House Bill 1215.

© 2006 MSNBC.com (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/)

November 20th, 2006, 10:39 AM
To Oversee Family Planning

Someone whose clinics won't offer it

washingtonpost.com (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/18/AR2006111800817.html)
Sunday, November 19, 2006


ERIC KEROACK is the medical director of an antiabortion "pregnancy counseling" center that refuses to distribute contraceptives or encourage their use -- even by married couples. The organization, called "A Woman's Concern," says it is "persuaded that the crass commercialization and distribution of birth control is demeaning to women, degrading of human sexuality, and adverse to human health and happiness." It believes -- despite abundant evidence to the contrary -- that making birth control available, "especially among adolescents, actually increases (rather than decreases) out-of-wedlock pregnancy and abortion."

These views would be merely bizarre were it not for this additional disturbing fact: Dr. Keroack, an obstetrician-gynecologist, is about to start work at the Department of Health and Human Services, overseeing federally funded family planning programs. To put it simply, the Bush administration's choice to direct the federal effort to make contraceptives available to low-income women works for a group that doesn't support using contraception. What comes next -- a science adviser who doesn't believe in evolution?

HHS spokeswoman Christina Pearson says that Dr. Keroack, in his private medical practice, has prescribed contraception, although she could not say whether that included unmarried women. But Dr. Keroack's involvement with A Woman's Concern raises doubts about his commitment to the fundamental concept of the federal family planning program, which, by offering timely and affordable access to reliable contraception, has helped prevent millions of unintended pregnancies. Unfortunately, the position to which Dr. Keroack is being named, deputy assistant secretary for population affairs, isn't subject to Senate confirmation. It should be subject, though, to common sense.

President Bush and Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt should reconsider this ill-advised choice.

© Copyright 1996-2006 The Washington Post Company

February 25th, 2007, 04:26 AM
Abortion Ban Fails in S.D. Senate Panel

The Associated Press
February 21, 2007

PIERRE, S.D. -- A South Dakota bill to ban most abortions in a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade appeared dead Wednesday after a state Senate committee rejected it.

The surprising 8-1 vote marked the third time in four years that measures to bar abortion in South Dakota were defeated. The Legislature passed an even stricter ban last year, but it was rejected by the voters in November.

Supporters had hoped to use the new law to prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider its 1973 ruling declaring the right to an abortion.

Opponents argued the bill was so plainly unconstitutional the court probably wouldn't even consider the case.

State Rep. Gordon Howie, the bill's sponsor, said he would try to bring the bill to the full Senate anyway. But several senators said there were probably not enough votes to revive the bill.

Last week, the South Dakota House passed the measure 45-25. The bill would have allowed abortions only in cases of rape, incest, a threat of severe injury to a woman's health and to save a woman's life. In the bill that passed last year, the only exception was to save the mother's life.

A Planned Parenthood clinic in Sioux Falls is the only acknowledged abortion provider in South Dakota. About 800 abortions are done in the state each year.


March 26th, 2007, 02:32 PM
Texas legislator proposes $500 to stop abortions

March 24, 2007

A Texas legislator has proposed that pregnant women considering abortion be offered $500 not to end their pregnancies.

Republican State Sen. Dan Patrick, who also is a conservative radio talk show host, said on Friday the money might convince the women to go ahead and have babies, then give them up for adoption.

He said during a legislative conference in New Braunfels, 45 miles south of Austin, there were 75,000 abortions in Texas last year.

"If this incentive would give pause and change the mind of 5 percent of those woman, that's 3,000 lives. That's almost as many people as we've lost in Iraq," Patrick said.

Patrick has filed legislation to make the payment state law, but the legislature has not yet voted on it.

His proposal calls for giving any woman going to an abortion clinic the $500 option, to be paid no more than 30 days after the baby is born and given up for adoption.

Critics say the proposal would violate Texas and federal laws against buying babies, which Patrick rejected as "the typical ridiculous criticism."

Heather Paffe, political director of Planned Parenthood of Texas, said Patrick's proposal "is very cynical and insulting to women and their families."

"It's insulting to think women would make that kind of decision so easily," she said."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070324/od_nm/texas_abortion1_dc;_ylt=Ao1i_5U5OuEVHWapZkPFpA3MWM 0F

Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

March 26th, 2007, 04:50 PM
So this guy from Texas is going to Pay women to have babies.

Nice guy.

March 26th, 2007, 11:57 PM
Maybe HE should pay them out of his own pocket ...

April 19th, 2007, 07:07 AM
The New York Times
April 18, 2007

Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Abortion Procedure

By DAVID STOUT (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/david_stout/index.html?inline=nyt-per)

WASHINGTON, April 18 — The Supreme Court narrowly upheld a federal law today banning a controversial abortion (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/a/abortion/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) procedure, giving the anti-abortion movement one of its biggest legal victories in years.

The justices ruled, 5 to 4, that a law passed by Congress in 2003 and signed by President Bush does not violate the Constitution by imposing an undue burden on a woman’s right to end a pregnancy. The majority said its ruling reflects the government’s “legitimate, substantial interest in preserving and promoting fetal life.”

“The act, on its face, is not void for vagueness and does not impose an undue burden from any overbreadth,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/anthony_m_kennedy/index.html?inline=nyt-per) wrote for the court, rejecting key arguments of the law’s opponents.

The majority upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, whose very name can set off heated debate. The procedure addressed is known medically as “intact dilation and evacuation” or “D and X,” short for dilation and extraction. It involves partly removing an intact fetus, then destroying the skull to complete the abortion.

Doctors and other abortion-rights advocates who challenged the law maintained that the procedure is often the safest to use late in the pregnancy, because it minimizes the chances of injury to the uterus.

The court majority said that the 2003 law would not affect most abortions, which are performed early in a pregnancy; that the law does not encourage “arbitrary or discriminatory enforcement,” and that alternatives to the prohibited procedure are available. Justice Kennedy was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/r/john_g_jr_roberts/index.html?inline=nyt-per) Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/antonin_scalia/index.html?inline=nyt-per), Clarence Thomas (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/t/clarence_thomas/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and Samuel A. Alito Jr. (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/a/samuel_a_alito_jr/index.html?inline=nyt-per)

Critics of the law had attacked it in part because it does not provide for a broad exception to protect the health of the woman. It does, however, provide for an exception to save a woman’s life. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/ruth_bader_ginsburg/index.html?inline=nyt-per) called the majority decision “alarming” and a retreat from the court’s earlier holdings. “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,” Justice Ginsburg wrote, in a dissent joined by Justices John Paul Stevens (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/john_paul_stevens/index.html?inline=nyt-per), David H. Souter (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/david_h_souter/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and Stephen G. Breyer (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/stephen_g_breyer/index.html?inline=nyt-per).

The ruling overturned findings of several lower federal courts that had found the 2003 law unconstitutional. Today’s ruling is also a change of course from a Supreme Court ruling in 2000, when the lineup of justices was different, striking down a Nebraska law banning the procedure. Justice Kennedy was among the dissenters who would have upheld the Nebraska law.

Justice Ginsburg was so disappointed in today’s ruling that she took the highly unusual step of reading part of her dissent from the bench.

As for the fact that most abortions are performed early in pregnancy, and the majority’s assertion that alternatives to the prohibited procedure are available for later in pregnancies, Justice Ginsburg said adolescents and indigent women have more trouble obtaining an abortion early, so today’s ruling could put them at a disadvantage.

Justice Ginsburg also took issue with language in the law finding a “consensus” that the banned procedure is never necessary.

But the majority said disagreements within the medical community constituted no obstacle to the 2003 law. “The court has given state and federal legislatures wide discretion to pass legislation in areas where there is medical and scientific uncertainty,” Justice Kennedy wrote. “Medical uncertainty does not foreclose the exercise of legislative power in the abortion context any more than it does in other contexts.”

Today’s decision gave the anti-abortion forces what they had hoped for with the more conservative makeup of the high court since Justice Alito replaced Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Abortion opponents are sure to be pleased by some of the language in Justice Kennedy’s opinion, including his observation that “the government may use its voice and its regulatory authority to show its profound respect for the life within the woman.”

The ruling is surely not the last word on abortion, either legally or politically, and it immediately reflected the deep divides that have long characterized the issue. Republicans (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/r/republican_party/index.html?inline=nyt-org) praised the decision, while Democrats denounced it.

“I applaud the court’s decision to uphold the ban on partial-birth abortion,” said Senator Mel Martinez of Florida, chairman of the Republican National Committee (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/r/republican_national_committee/index.html?inline=nyt-org), adding that the ruling “spoke highly of society’s core values to protect the sanctity of life.”

President Bush called the ruling “an affirmation of the progress we have made over the past six years in protecting human dignity and upholding the sanctity of life.”

Representative John A. Boehner (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/john_a_boehner/index.html?inline=nyt-per) of Ohio, the Republican minority leader in the House of Representatives, told The Associated Press he hoped the decision would set the stage “for further progress in the fight to ensure our nation’s laws respect the sanctity of unborn human life.”

But several Democrats issued statements of disappointment.

Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/carolyn_b_maloney/index.html?inline=nyt-per) of New York, for example, said the ruling “will tie doctors’ hands and jeopardize women’s health.”

Eve Gartner of the Planned Parenthood Federation (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/p/planned_parenthood_federation_of_america/index.html?inline=nyt-org) of America said the ruling “flies in the face of 30 years of Supreme Court precedent and the best interest of women’s health and safety.” The ruling sends the signal that “politicians, not doctors,” will make health-care decisions for women.

Abortion is sure to be an issue in the 2008 presidential campaign, and perhaps for many campaigns to come. Several Republicans seeking their party’s nomination also said they were pleased by today’s decision, while several Democrats who want to be their party’s standard-bearer had opposite reactions.

People who believe that a woman should be able to choose abortion may see today’s outcome as a threat to Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion under certain circumstances. Opponents hope it will pose just that kind of threat.

Roberta Combs, president of the Christian Coalition (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/christian_coalition/index.html?inline=nyt-org) of America, said: “With today’s Supreme Court decision, it is just a matter of time before the infamous Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 will also be struck down by the court.”

Copyright 2007 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)


April 19th, 2007, 07:15 AM
The New York Times
April 19, 2007

Denying the Right to Choose

Among the major flaws in yesterday’s Supreme Court decision giving the federal government power to limit a woman’s right to make decisions about her health was its fundamental dishonesty.

Under the modest-sounding guise of following existing precedent, the majority opinion — written by Justice Anthony Kennedy and joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito — gutted a host of thoughtful lower federal court rulings, not to mention past Supreme Court rulings.

It severely eroded the constitutional respect and protection accorded to women and the personal decisions they make about pregnancy and childbirth. The justices went so far as to eviscerate the crucial requirement, which dates to the 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, that all abortion regulations must have an exception to protect a woman’s health.

As far as we know, Mr. Kennedy and his four colleagues responsible for this atrocious result are not doctors. Yet these five male justices felt free to override the weight of medical evidence presented during the several trials that preceded the Supreme Court showdown. Instead, they ratified the politically based and dangerously dubious Congressional claim that criminalizing the intact dilation and extraction method of abortion in the second trimester of pregnancy — the so-called partial-birth method — would never pose a significant health risk to a woman. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has found the procedure to be medically necessary in certain cases.

Justice Kennedy actually reasoned that banning the procedure was good for women in that it would protect them from a procedure they might not fully understand in advance and would probably come to regret. This way of thinking, that women are flighty creatures who must be protected by men, reflects notions of a woman’s place in the family and under the Constitution that have long been discredited, said a powerful dissenting opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter and Stephen Breyer.

Far from being compelled by the court’s precedents, Justice Ginsburg aptly objected, the new ruling is so at odds with its jurisprudence — including a concurring opinion by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (who has now been succeeded by Justice Alito) when a remarkably similar state abortion ban was struck down just seven years ago — that it should not have staying power.

For anti-abortion activists, this case has never been about just one controversial procedure. They have correctly seen it as a wedge that could ultimately be used to undermine and perhaps eliminate abortion rights eventually. The court has handed the Bush administration and other opponents of women’s reproductive rights the big political victory they were hoping to get from the conservative judges Mr. Bush has added to the bench. It comes at a real cost to the court’s credibility, its integrity and the rule of law.

Copyright 2007 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)


May 5th, 2007, 02:51 AM
Mexico City Bill That Legalizes Abortion During First Three Months' Gestation Published Into Law

01 May 2007

A bill that allows pregnant women to obtain a legal abortion in Mexico City during the first three months' gestation was published into law on Thursday, the AP/Houston Chronicle (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/world/4753852.html) reports (Castillo, AP/Houston Chronicle, 4/26). Under national Mexican law, abortion only is permitted if the life of the pregnant woman is endangered or if the woman has been raped. However, lawmakers from the Party of the Democratic Revolution (http://www.prd.org.mx/) in March in the Mexico City Legislature proposed allowing abortions during the first three months of pregnancy in the city, and lawmakers on Tuesday voted 46-19 to approve it (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report (http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?hint=2&DR_ID=44480), 4/25).

Authorities are expected to publish regulations for the law next week, but City Health Secretary Manuel Mondragon said that pregnant women near 12-weeks' gestation will be allowed to have abortions beginning on Friday. According to the AP/Chronicle, the procedure will be available at no cost at 14 of the 28 hospitals in the city. Mondragon said that women seeking abortions will have to prove they are residents of the city except in cases of medical emergency and that each facility will be able to perform about seven abortions per day. Girls younger than age 18 will need parental consent to obtain an abortion.

Officials said it was not clear if private hospitals would have to provide the procedure. The law allows gynecologists who have moral objections to refrain from performing abortions (AP/Houston Chronicle, 4/26).

Advocacy Groups' Reaction

The antiabortion group Pro-Vida has pledged to block pregnant women from entering abortion clinics and hospitals in Mexico City and publicly identify abortion providers if the measure is enacted, the AP/International Herald Tribune (http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/04/26/america/LA-GEN-Mexico-Abortion.php) reports (Castillo, AP/International Herald Tribune, 4/25).

In addition, the College of Catholic Lawyers on Thursday said it will file a complaint Wednesday to the Organization of American States (http://www.oas.org/)' Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which is based in Costa Rica, Reuters reports. Father Hugo Valdemar, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Mexico City, said the law violates a clause in the Mexican Constitution that says the government must defend life "from conception until its natural end." According to Reuters, Mexican law prevents the Roman Catholic Church from appealing the law to the country's Supreme Court (Bremer, Reuters, 4/26).

Alma Luz Beltran of the Group of Information on Reproductive Choice, which supports abortion rights, said that her group believes it is "quite probable" the attorney general will appeal the law to the Mexican Supreme Court but added that the group believes, "given the current makeup of the Supreme Court, it would be very unlikely that they would invalidate it." Beltran and other abortion-rights advocates plan to call for access to safe and affordable abortions and to pressure federally run hospitals in the city to provide the procedure (AP/International Herald Tribune, 4/25).


The laws regulating "sexuality" in Mexico are "more discriminatory toward women than most people realize," which is why Mexico City's decision to legalize abortions during the first three months of pregnancy "marks such an important change," a Los Angeles Times (http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-ed-mexico26apr26,0,3675821.story?coll=la-opinion-leftrail) editorial says. Although Mexico's federal government allows abortions in cases of rape or to save a pregnant woman's life, "actually getting the procedure done can be prohibitively difficult" for low-income women, the editorial says. In addition, rape victims are "often treated dismissively or openly humiliated by the justice system," making women reluctant to report the crime and thus "disqualifying them from a legal abortion" if they become pregnant, according to the Times. Although the Mexico City vote "won't change all" of the "bureaucracies" that delay the abortion until it is medically too late, it will act as a "safety valve" that "will save lives and ease misery nationwide," the editorial says (Los Angeles Times, 4/26).

PRI's "The World (http://www.theworld.org/)" on Wednesday reported on the role of the Catholic Church in the abortion debate in Mexico City. The segment includes comments from an abortion-rights advocate and a resident of Mexico City (Contreras, "The World," PRI, 4/25). Audio of the segment is available online (http://www.theworld.org/?q=node/9663). "The World" on Wednesday also included a discussion with Joan Caivano of the Inter-American Dialogue (http://www.thedialogue.org/) about attitudes toward abortion and contraception in Mexico and Latin American countries (Mullins, "The World," PRI, 4/25). Audio of the segment is available online (http://www.theworld.org/?q=node/9664).


May 5th, 2007, 03:05 AM
Bush vows to veto abortion-rights bills

By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer
May 5, 2007

President Bush is warning Democratic leaders that any attempt to weaken federal policies that restrict abortion will be met with a veto.

White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said Friday that the warning, issued in letters to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (news, bio, voting record), was intended to stop abortion amendments from being added to spending bills and other legislation that Congress will be considering in the coming weeks.

"There's nothing specific pending right now," Fratto said.

The Republicans who held power in past sessions of Congress ensured that spending bills included language prohibiting federal funding for abortion except to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest, and restricting funding for international family planning groups that might give advice on or provide abortions.

Now in the minority, House and Senate Republicans recently wrote the president urging him to make clear that any weakening of those restrictions would be unacceptable.

"The standing pattern is that appropriate conscience protections must be in place for health care entities, and that taxpayer dollars may not be used in coercive or involuntary family planning programs," Bush said in letters dated Thursday.

"I will veto any legislation that weakens current federal policies and laws on abortion, or that encourages the destruction of human life at any stage," he wrote.

Bush has already threatened to veto legislation, passed by the House and Senate in different forms this year, that would ease restrictions on federally funded embryonic stem cell research. He killed a similar stem cell bill last year in the first veto of his presidency.

Reid's spokesman, Jim Manley, said that "if the president is serious about finding common ground on this divisive issue, he should support Sen. Reid's efforts to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies in this country."

Reid and others are sponsoring legislation that would improve family planning services, require insurance companies to pay for birth control and provide effective sex education for young people.

The letter was hailed by anti-abortion leaders such as Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee, who said his group appreciates "that the president is drawing a bright line."

"President Bush is not the first man to occupy the Oval Office who talked about valuing preborn life, but no administration has backed up those words with as much consistent policy support as his has," said Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family Action.

On the other side, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said Bush had essentially told the new Congress "that he wants to continue denying millions of women access to essential medical services, including family planning and safe, legal abortion, even if it means jeopardizing their health."

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


"President Bush is not the first man to occupy the Oval Office who talked about valuing preborn life...Is the term "preborn life" a typo by AP, a slip-up on the part of Dr. Dobson, or a new term the anti-choice people have introduced?

May 22nd, 2007, 07:26 AM
The New York Times
May 22, 2007

Abortion Foes See Validation for New Tactic

By ROBIN TONER (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/t/robin_toner/index.html?inline=nyt-per)

WASHINGTON, May 21 — For many years, the political struggle over abortion (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/a/abortion/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) was often framed as a starkly binary choice: the interest of the woman, advocated by supporters of abortion rights, versus the interest of the fetus, advocated by opponents of abortion.

But last month’s Supreme Court decision upholding the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act marked a milestone for a different argument advanced by anti-abortion leaders, one they are increasingly making in state legislatures around the country. They say that abortion, as a rule, is not in the best interest of the woman; that women are often misled or ill-informed about its risks to their own physical or emotional health; and that the interests of the pregnant woman and the fetus are, in fact, the same.

The majority opinion in the court’s 5-to-4 decision explicitly acknowledged this argument, galvanizing anti-abortion forces and setting the stage for an intensifying battle over new abortion restrictions in the states.

This ferment adds to the widespread recognition that abortion politics are changing, in ways that are, as yet, unclear, if not contradictory. Even as the anti-abortion forces relish their biggest victory in the Supreme Court in nearly 20 years, they face the possibility of a Republican (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/r/republican_party/index.html?inline=nyt-org) presidential nominee, former mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/rudolph_w_giuliani/index.html?inline=nyt-per) of New York, who is a supporter of abortion rights.

The anti-abortion movement’s focus on women has been building for a decade or more, advanced by groups like the conservative Justice Foundation, the National Right to Life Committee and Feminists for Life.

“We think of ourselves as very pro-woman,” said Wanda Franz, president of the National Right to Life Committee. “We believe that when you help the woman, you help the baby.”

It is embodied in much of the imagery and advertising of the anti-abortion movement in recent years, especially the “Women Deserve Better Than Abortion” campaign by Feminists for Life, the group that counts Jane Sullivan Roberts, the wife of the chief justice, among its most prominent supporters.

It is also at the heart of an effort — expected to escalate in next year’s state legislative sessions — to enact new “informed consent” and mandatory counseling laws that critics assert often amount to a not-so-subtle pitch against abortion. Abortion-rights advocates, still reeling from last month’s decision, argue that this effort is motivated by ideology, not women’s health.

“Informed consent is really a misleading way to characterize it,” said Roger Evans, senior director of public policy litigation and law for Planned Parenthood (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/p/planned_parenthood_federation_of_america/index.html?inline=nyt-org). “To me, what we’ll see is an increasing attempt to push a state’s ideology into a doctor-patient relationship, to force doctors to communicate more and more of the state’s viewpoint.”

Nancy Keenan, president of Naral Pro-Choice America, said, “It’s motivated by politics, not by science, not by medical care, and not for the purposes of compassion.”

The Guttmacher Institute, a research group and an affiliate of Planned Parenthood, said recently that “a considerable body of credible evidence” over 30 years contradicted the notion that legal abortion posed long-term dangers to women’s health, physically or mentally.

But Allan E. Parker Jr., president of the Justice Foundation, a conservative group based in Texas, compares the campaign intended for women to the long struggle to inform Americans about the risks of smoking (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/diseasesconditionsandhealthtopics/smoking/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier). “We’re kind of in the early stages of tobacco litigation,” Mr. Parker said.

All sides agree that the debate reached a new level of significance when Justice Anthony M. Kennedy (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/anthony_m_kennedy/index.html?inline=nyt-per), writing the majority opinion in the Supreme Court case last month, approvingly cited a friend-of-the court brief filed by the Justice Foundation.

The foundation, a nonprofit public interest litigation firm that has handled an array of conservative causes, has increasingly focused on abortion through its project called Operation Outcry. Mr. Parker said the group began hearing from women in the late 1990s who considered themselves victims of legalized abortion — physically and emotionally — and wanted to tell their stories. Operation Outcry, which grew to include a Web site, a national hot line and chapters around the country, eventually collected statements from more than 2,000 women, officials said.

In its friend-of-the-court brief, the group submitted statements from 180 of those women who said that abortion had left them depressed, distraught, in emotional turmoil. “Thirty-three years of real life experiences,” the foundation said, “attests that abortion hurts women and endangers their physical, emotional and psychological health.”

The case before the Supreme Court involved a specific type of abortion, occasionally used after the first trimester, that involves removing a fetus intact after collapsing its skull. Justice Kennedy upheld that ban on narrower, legal grounds, but he used the Justice Foundation brief to write more broadly about the emotional impact of abortion on women.

“While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained,” Justice Kennedy wrote, alluding to the brief. “Severe depression and loss of esteem can follow.”

Given those stakes, the justice argued, “The state has an interest in ensuring so grave a choice is well informed.”

Many, on both sides, viewed that as an invitation from a newly conservative court to pass tough new counseling and informed-consent laws intended for women seeking abortions — “a green light for enhanced informed consent,” in the words of Clarke D. Forsythe, president of Americans United for Life, a leader in that legislative effort.

The abortion-rights side was caught off guard, in part because its strategists believe the scientific debate has been so decisively settled against the Justice Foundation’s argument over the years. “We thought that brief was so extraneous that we didn’t even bother coming up with a response to it,” said Mr. Evans of Planned Parenthood.

In her dissenting opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/ruth_bader_ginsburg/index.html?inline=nyt-per) agreed. “The court invokes an anti-abortion shibboleth for which it concededly has no reliable evidence,” she wrote.

But Mr. Parker at the Justice Foundation said the point of view being promoted by his group had already had an impact in states debating informed consent and other abortion regulations, including South Dakota.

That state’s law, currently being challenged in federal court, requires women seeking an abortion to be told that the procedure will terminate a “whole, separate, unique, living human being,” and that it carries a variety of psychological and physical risks to the woman.

Other new “informed consent” proposals in the states would require women to receive an ultrasound before their abortion; according to Naral, 10 states have considered such legislation this year. South Carolina has been debating proposals that encourage, if not require, a woman to go a step further and review the sonogram.

This focus on women by the anti-abortion movement has real power, many experts said. Reva B. Siegel, a Yale law professor and a supporter of abortion rights who recently conducted a study of this effort, said it combined “the modern language of trauma and women’s rights” with “some very traditional ways of understanding women.”

But Geoffrey Garin, who conducts polls for abortion-rights groups, said, “Once you get past the verbiage, women get that the motivation here is political as opposed to medical.”

History suggests that the way the abortion struggle is framed has a significant effect, over the years, on legislative and political outcomes. In the late 1980s, the Naral slogan “Who Decides?” was widely credited with helping the abortion-rights movement capture the voters of the center. A decade later, the campaign to outlaw what critics call partial-birth abortion — symbolizing a broader argument that the right to an abortion had gone too far — helped the anti-abortion movement widen its support and win significant victories in Congress, state legislatures and the court.
The anti-abortion movement clearly hopes this emphasis on women as victims of abortion has similar influence, although some of its strategists acknowledge it is a huge task; there are an estimated 1.3 million abortions a year in the United States, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Mr. Parker said his organization planned to make its legal argument, and the accompanying testimonials from women, available to more state legislatures. Every time he speaks on the issue, he said, he receives more phone calls from women who have had abortions.

Copyright 2007 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)


May 22nd, 2007, 07:53 AM
Guys in the U.S.:

It's your problem, too!

Do you want to pay higher taxes to pay for the increase in welfare babies?

Do you want to pay for 18 years of child support because everything went wrong during a one-nighter?

Do you want women to go frigid on you because their fears of pregnancy have sky-rocketed?

Do you want to be strongly pressured into co-habitation or marriage -- when you're just not ready -- because your woman is afraid of getting pregnant without a commitment?

I'm hitting your wallets and your jewels like this because I'm trying to save you from having them hit magnitudes worse down the road...

If you are pro-choice, then get off your bums and become pro-choice activists; the female pro-choicers can't win this one alone!

June 21st, 2007, 05:12 PM
House readies abortion-related vote

By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer
June 21, 2007

The House will cast a landmark vote Thursday when it decides whether to reverse U.S. policy and provide contraceptive grants to groups overseas that also provide abortions.

The legislation states the U.S. cannot deny assistance to any group so long as it includes funding for contraceptives. President Bush has threatened to veto the measure, and Republicans say they have enough support to uphold the veto.

In the face of stiff opposition to the plan, Democrats drafted an amendment that would restrict the aid to U.S.-donated contraceptives.

The bill would help "reduce unintended and high-risk pregnancies, and abortions . . . and save the lives of mothers," said Rep. Nita Lowey, who chairs the House appropriations panel that oversees the foreign aid budget.

Both sides consider the vote to be a crucial step in the abortion debate.

U.S. policy, initiated by President Reagan and reinstated by President Bush in March 2001, bars any assistance to organizations abroad that perform or promote abortion as a method of family planning.

Democrats have since contended the policy does nothing to prevent the unwanted pregnancies that lead to abortion. Accordingly, Democrats drafted a provision they said would allow U.S. donations of contraceptives, but no money to any organization, regardless of its position on abortion.

"This provision does not amend any of the provisions in existing law that prohibit assistance for abortion or otherwise restrict family planning funds," Lowey, D-N.Y., later added.

Despite Lowey's description, the bill is not written that way.

"No contract or grant which includes funding for the provision of contraceptives in developing countries, shall be denied to any non-governmental organization solely on the basis of" Bush's 2001 policy, the bill states.

The measure is attached to a $34.2 billion bill that pays for State Department operations and foreign aid in 2008.

"This clearly opens up the U.S. Treasury to fund abortions worldwide," said Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, a senior Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The proposal ignited a firestorm of angry protests from other Republicans, who said they would back an amendment by Reps. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., and Bart Stupak, D-Mich., to strip the measure from the bill.

"It makes sense that if we do not use U.S. taxpayer funds to fund abortions in the United States, we should not use taxpayer dollars to export this procedure to other countries," said Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio.

"Congress should not ... be entering into the position as being seen exporting abortion all over the world."

Elizabeth Stanley, Lowey's chief of staff, said Thursday the congresswoman's intent had always been to restrict the assistance to contraceptives and not provide funds to organizations noncompliant with the policy — dubbed the Mexico City Policy after the population conference where Reagan announced it. Stanley said Lowey planned to offer an amendment limiting assistance to contraceptive assistance only.
"A vote for Lowey's amendment is a good-faith effort to find common ground, while a vote for Smith is an extreme anti-family planning position," Stanley said.

Democrats and supporters of their proposal say the new law would not promote abortion, but correct a shortage in contraceptives available in poor rural areas. According to Population Action International, Ghana has shown increased rates of sexually transmitted infections and abortions since a prominent family planning group in the country was denied U.S. assistance.

Bush policy "has had a destabilizing impact on country-led family planning programs and simultaneously undermined decades of health care provision by leading national" non-governmental organizations, the group states.

Pence said late Wednesday Republicans were unsure they had enough votes to pass an amendment overturning the Democratic proposal. But he said, the GOP was sure Democrats lacked the votes to override a presidential veto.

In a statement released Tuesday, the administration said the president would veto any legislation "that weakens current federal policies and laws on abortion."

The funding bill attracted a slew of other amendments on foreign affairs, including a proposal by Rep. Chris Shays, R-Conn., that would give $1 million to the bipartisan Iraq Study Group to conduct another assessment of the war.

The House also was expected to consider a proposal by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., that would restrict aid to the United Nations Human Rights Council, as well as the U.N. development program. The proposals are intended as a rebuke of the U.N. for not taking steps to improve oversight or speaking out more against human rights abuses.


December 31st, 2007, 02:02 AM
Huckabee Would Criminalize Abortion Providers

By John Solomon
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, locked in a tight GOP race in Iowa, said Sunday he would seek to punish doctors who took money to provide abortions to women if he succeeded in outlawing the procedure, as he has long advocated.

"I think if a doctor knowingly took the life of an unborn child for money, and that's why he was doing it, yeah, I think you would, you would find some way to sanction that doctor," Huckabee said during an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press. "I don't know that you'd put him in prison, but there's something to me untoward about a person who has committed himself to healing people and to making people alive who would take money to take an innocent life and to make that life dead."

The former governor said he would not support penalizing women who sought abortions even if they were outlawed. "I think you don't punish the woman, first of all, because it's not about ... I consider her a victim, not a criminal."

Huckabee, whose campaign surged to the lead in Iowa polls but has cooled in recent days, also used the appearance on the Sunday show to launch his most pointed attack yet on rival Mitt Romney. He accused the former Massachusetts governor of running a "very desperate and, frankly, distorted" campaign for the presidency.

"If you aren't being honest in obtaining the job, can we trust you if you get the job?" Huckabee asked, citing instances in which he alleged Romney distorted Huckabee's record as governor. Huckabee also came to the defense of a fellow rival, saying that when Romney "went after the integrity of John McCain, he stepped over the line. John McCain's a hero in this country. He's a hero to me."

McCain, whose campaign also has been targeted by Romney since it began rising in New Hampshire polls, also got into the mix during an appearance on ABC's This Week. McCain declined to call Romney a "phony" but said "I think he's a person who changed his positions on many issues."


December 31st, 2007, 10:14 AM
Huckabee Would Criminalize Abortion Providers

"I think if a doctor knowingly took the life of an unborn child for money ... I think you would, you would find some way to sanction that doctor," Huckabee said ...

... he would not support penalizing women who sought abortions even if they were outlawed. "I think you don't punish the woman, first of all, because it's not about ... I consider her a victim, not a criminal."

Talk about fuzzy thinking ... Huckabee basically equates Abortion to Murder.

For Huckabee to claim that a woman who seeks out a doctor in order to get an abortion is somehow a "victim" exhibits (1) a condescending ploy to keep women's votes and (2) a poor understanding of "intent" and the law.

It takes two to tango.

I do not support Huckabee's plan to outlaw abortion. But if you're going to punish the abortion provider you have to punish the abortion getter.

Would Huckabee not prosecute a woman who hires a hit man to take out her husband?

Huckabee = Huckster = Hypocrite.

January 8th, 2008, 07:30 PM
It's my understanding that in many states there is a de facto ban on abortion already. Most doctors have been so terrorized by extremists in some of the more conservative states that only women who can afford to have abortions in hospitals are able to do so. (and this is definitely prohibitive to most who need it). In some states even this is no longer available as doctors who perform such procedures in hospitals are targeted at their private practices. This is obviously a very effective way at preventing abortion without legislation. One wonders why there hasn't been more protection for those doctors and their clients (or, if one is cynical, maybe not). To read the recent supreme court abortion decision is only a reason for intelligent women (and, I hope, men) to weep. Once again, it seems as if we (women) need to be saved from ourselves.

January 8th, 2008, 09:56 PM
On this 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, I would like to share my views on the issue of abortion.

Life begins at the point of conception. No one can deny that after a human being is conceived it will develop into the very same being as those debating this issue. What astounds me is that those who favor abortion went through an identical development stage as the being they are condemning to death. Would these very same people agree that a similiar choice should have been made about their own existence? Abortion today is used primarily as a birth control of convenience because people are too self-centered to take precautions. They prefer their own pleasurable self-indulgence over the care and sanctity of the life they created. What ever happened to taking responsibility for one's actions in this country? Is it too much to ask a woman who has conceived to place the child into adoption? Nine months of discomfort is nothing compared to life in prison for voluntary manslaughter! Does the father of the child have a say in this? And what about the constitution of the United States? Are not all people conceived in this country deserving of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? I believe abortion is a crime against humanity and should be outlawed. We need to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision and get back to cherishing life in this country. For a country that murders it's children cannot be far from self destruction.

January 8th, 2008, 11:04 PM
Joe: Written like a man :cool:.

If I'd been aborted I really could care less. I'd have no mind with which to care.

Look at it this way: The body is merely a temporary container. The soul as energy existed well before the body started to take shape and will continue to exist as energy long after the body has disappeared. A soul sans body is no great loss.

btw: How many of those little babies are you making room for in that big cozy house of yours, Joe? Or will someone else be responsible for their earthly care?

January 8th, 2008, 11:55 PM
It may be a while before Joe completes the Internet forum circuit (http://www.google.com/search?q=joebialek+forum&hl=en&newwindow=1&safe=off&rlz=1B3GGGL_en___US228&start=0&sa=N) and gets back to this, so let me provide the standard response:

"Good points"

January 9th, 2008, 08:26 PM
I am going to post something that even (kind of) offends me. A non-viable (couldn't exist outside of the womb) fetus is essentially a nonsymbiotic (or is it asymbiotic, my biology is old) parasite. There is virtually no benefit to the host (mother) and all and anything that can be had is redirected to the fetus. Dear Joe, I'd like to see you carry an unwanted child for nine months and then give it away.

Punzie, thanks for sharing. I'm glad you've made it and still have the spirit to go forth. I worry about genetic testing that allows parents to weed out the less than perfect, but I can tell that is not your case in the slightest.

January 10th, 2008, 02:59 PM
It is, and will always be, a tough decision.

People should be INFORMED about all of this, not morally, but they should have full knowledge of what they are doing and at what stage they are doing it at.

The later the abortion of a healthy child, the more they have to realize that they are coming closer and closer to killing a newborn.

I am not 100% one way or the other. I don't see it as a form of birth control, at least not in the same callous unfeeling way anti-abortion activists try to portray it as. I also do not see it as a 100% womens rights issue. Certainly they have more say in it than any other individual, being it is their bodies that are the subject, but at the same time, there is another life that is developing and should be taken into consideration.

But this life is developing. It is not a 100% child and taking the religious belief that at the moment of conception it is somehow a spiritual being and therefore a sin to terminate it is folly. It is one of those lines in the sand that everyone draws at a different place and argues that their position should be forced on all others when, in fact, there are many fuzzy lines for each persons individual situation.

There is an absolute line though. Once that baby is born and supporting itself, it is a living being undeniably and should not be considered anything different. It gets fuzzy during the time the baby COULD be a viable self-sustaining creature but has not yet come to term and, at least in my mind and the minds of many, not this mystical holy object instantly at the time of conception.

I don't know.

Bottom line is that it is not my baby, not my body. So long as this kid is not out on its own, I have no say whatsoever on its existence or termination thereof. I can advise for or against this to the people who I value, and hopefully who value my opinion, but that is where I leave it. Your life, your choice, and to some, your sin. Not mine.

January 13th, 2008, 07:29 PM
It may be a while before Joe completes the Internet forum circuit (http://www.google.com/search?q=joebialek+forum&hl=en&newwindow=1&safe=off&rlz=1B3GGGL_en___US228&start=0&sa=N) and gets back to this, so let me provide the standard response:

"Good points"

OH!! Double-snap.

February 17th, 2008, 07:35 PM
good points

February 18th, 2008, 04:25 AM
Abortion today is used primarily as a birth control of convenience because people are too self-centered to take precautions
Totally agree.