Tuesday, April 24, 2007

How Dare

Anyone take away my right to do with my body as I please?

Through surfing various blogs, I have become even more entrenched in the debate of "Choice." Yes, choice. I refuse to acknowledge it as anything but. I'm sure those of disagreeing view points will argue that I am choosing a euphemism for what they term "pro-abortion." In fact, I know they will as one such person stated such in response to a comment I posted on their blog. It's not a euphemism. It's a position. It's a position that is ground in the United States Constitution. To say that it does not exist is ignorant and intolerant.

If the term of choice for those who argue against the right of choice, is "pro-life", exactly whose life are they referring to? The embryo? The fetus? The mother? The lives of the mother's existing family? What about the mother? If her life is in danger, is it not of value? What about the lives of her living children, who now thanks to this awful and hateful decision, have no mother? Whose life is it anyway?

Reading the decision of the Supreme Court in Gonzalez v. Carhart, et al. (April 18, 2007) infuriates me to no end. For the first time ever, the Court has held that the mother's life has no value. Justice Ginsberg however said it best,

Today's decision is alarming. It refuses to take Casey and Stenberg seriously. 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 (ACOG). It blurs the line, firmly drawn in Casey, between previability and postviability abortions. And, for the first time since Roe, the Court blesses a prohibition with no exception safeguarding a woman's health.


Revealing in this regard, the Court invokes an antiabortion shibboleth for which it concededly has no reliable evidence: Women who have abortions come to regret their choices, and consequently suffer from "[s]evere depression and loss of esteem." Ante, at 29.7 Because of women's fragile emotional state and because of the "bond of love the mother has for her child," the Court worries, doctors may withhold information about the nature of the intact D&E procedure. Ante, at 28 - 29.8 The solution the Court approves, then, is not to require doctors to inform women, accurately and adequately, of the different procedures and their attendant risks. Cf. Casey, 505 U. S., at 873 (plurality opinion) ("States are free to enact laws to provide a reasonable framework for a woman to make a decision that has such profound and lasting meaning."). Instead, the Court deprives women of the right to make an autonomous choice, even at the expense of their safety.

This way of thinking reflects ancient notions about women's place in the family and under the Constitution - ideas that have long since been discredited.


In sum, the notion that the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act furthers any legitimate governmental interest is, quite simply, irrational. The Court's defense of the statute provides no saving explanation. In candor, the Act, and the Court's defense of it, cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court - and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women's lives.

- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg

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