Why wasn’t I surprised that the Supreme Court was willing to take a walk on the wild side with the abortion issue? I personally believe that the Supreme Court these days takes stock in which way the wind is blowing in terms of American opinion.
Most Americans favor abortion on demand. That’s just a fact. That’s why I don’t think the supremes will ever overturn Roe v. Wade. However, while most Americans favor abortion as a general concept, most Americans are opposed to what has come to be called “Partial Birth Abortions”. The term, “partial birth abortion” is itself a political term designed to inflame passions. In truth, the fetus is not “born”, the woman’s cervix is dilated allowing instruments to remove the fetus in pieces. Annatopia at Texas Kaos has an excellent posting on this. The Chron article also has an excellent explanation of what a “partial birth abortion” is and what it is not.
In that article, it is made clear that “partial birth abortion” is not a medical term. For that reason, doctors cannot be sure that the procedure that they are performing comes under the banning. From the Chron:
“’There is nothing that we call by the name 'partial birth abortion,' ‘ said Dr. Eleanor Stanley, an OB-GYN who works at three abortion clinics in Las Vegas and Phoenix. ‘The phrase doesn't appear in gynecological textbooks or medical research journals’, she said”
“Nine out of ten abortions occur during the first trimester. But if ultrasound examinations in the second trimester reveal that a fetus has a devastating genetic disorder, it might be too large for the surgical instruments, so D&E would not be an option.”
But do you know what really fries my grits? The ban is a ban on an emergency procedure to preserve a woman’s health. The ban, by my reading of it, does not ban the procedure in order to save a woman’s life as in this case cited by the Chron.
“’Sometimes the pregnancy is a threat to the life of the woman,’ said Dr. Warren Hern, who runs the Boulder Abortion Clinic in Colorado. He recalled a case of a patient who suffered from uncontrollable high blood pressure because her fetus had a chromosomal defect. ‘I wound up doing her abortion in the hospital at 3 a.m. because if I didn't she'd be dead by daybreak. A D&X procedure was the only viable option’, he said.”
Are we becoming such a paternalistic society that we are demanding that women sacrifice their health for a fetus that is clearly damaging their bodies? Are we also becoming such a paternalistic society that we are demanding that people raise hopelessly deformed children with all of the emotional turmoil and financial burden that this would produce in a family?
Who do we blame for this? I believe the supremes were just going along with public opinion. Opinion that appears to be driven by blind emotion and not cold sober presentation of the facts that have poured forth in the Chron’s article today. And not just the Chron either. All of a sudden we are inundated with information on what “Partial Birth Abortion” is.
Public opinion on second trimester abortion is what it is because the public is poorly informed, or maybe more to the point, informed with lies and exaggeration. Who is really to blame for the Supreme Court decision? Not the American public, but the entity that informs the American public.