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Judge blocks partial-birth ban (1 Viewer)


May 30, 2004
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I grabbed this article from CBS News.

(CBS/AP) A federal judge has declared the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act to be unconstitutional, saying the measure infringes on a woman's right to choose.

The ruling applies to the nation's 900 or so Planned Parenthood clinics and their doctors, who perform roughly half of all abortions in the United States.

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton's ruling Tuesday came in one of three lawsuits challenging the legislation President Bush signed last year.

"The act poses an undue burden on a woman's right to choose an abortion," she wrote.

Federal judges in New York and Nebraska also heard challenges to the law earlier this year but have yet to rule. All three judges had temporarily blocked the law's implementation while considering the cases.

President Bush signed the bill in November, saying "a terrible form of violence has been directed against children who are inches from birth while the law looked the other way."

In the banned procedure — known as intact dilation and extraction to doctors, but called partial-birth abortion by opponents — the living fetus is partially removed from the womb, and its skull is punctured or crushed.

Justice Department attorneys argued that the procedure is inhumane, causes pain to the fetus, and is never medically necessary.

Abortion proponents argued that a woman's health during an abortion is more important than how the fetus is terminated, and that the banned method is often a safer solution that a conventional abortion, in which the fetus is dismembered in the womb and then removed in pieces.

The measure, which President Clinton had twice vetoed, was seen by abortion rights activists as a fundamental departure from the Supreme Court's precedent in Roe v. Wade. It shifted the debate from a woman's right to choose and focused on the plight of the fetus.

Abortion rights advocates said the law was the government's first step toward outlawing abortion. Violating the law carries a two-year prison term.

Late last year, Hamilton, a Clinton appointee, and federal judges in New York and Lincoln, Neb., blocked the act from being enforced pending the outcome of the court challenges. They began hearing testimony March 29.

Doctors have construed the Supreme Court's decision in Roe. v. Wade to mean they can perform abortions usually until the 24th to 28th week after conception, or until the "point of viability," when a healthy fetus is thought to be able to survive outside the womb. Generally, abortions after the "point of viability" are performed only to preserve the mother's health.

Doctors at about 900 abortion clinics practice under the Planned Parenthood umbrella, performing about half the nation's 1.3 million annual abortions.

The Nebraska and New York cases are expected to conclude within weeks. The outcomes, which may conflict with one another, will almost certainly be appealed to the Supreme Court.

The New York case was brought by the National Abortion Federation, which represents nearly half the nation's abortion providers. The Nebraska case was brought by a few abortion doctors.

"This doesn't automatically apply nationwide, but obviously its an important victory for opponents of the ban and defeat for supporters of the law," CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen said.

"This ruling shouldn't come as a surprise to supporters of the ban, who were told by some legal experts that the law was worded too much like an earlier ban that was struck down by the Supreme Court," Cohen said.

The Supreme Court in 2000 overturned a Nebraska partial-birth abortion law because it did not allow the banned procedure even when a doctor believes the method is the best way to preserve the woman's health.

To get around that decision, Congress simply declared that the procedure is never medically necessary — and during weeks of testimony, doctors testifying for the government stressed that same point — claiming that there are better alternatives to the method, and that it may even be harmful to women.

Witnesses for the abortion providers, however, testified in all three trials that the banned method is often preferred and sometimes necessary to preserve a woman's health.

Congressional sponsors said the ban would outlaw only 2,200 or so abortions a year. But abortion providers testified the banned method can happen even at times when doctors try to avoid it, such as when they attempt to remove the fetus from the womb in pieces.

Because of the possibility that the fetus may partially exit a woman during an otherwise legal procedure, abortion rights advocates said the law could ban almost all second-trimester abortions, which account for about 10 percent of all abortions in the United States.

Opponents of the ban also say that while it makes an exception for cases where the life of a mother is threatened by physical illness or injury, there is no allowance for risk to the health of the mother, or for mental illnesses.

I have a right sided view on the topic of abortion. I feel that abortion should only be used in extreme circumstances, such as rape, or health reasons, etc..

The judge blocked this under the premis that it impedes a woman's right to choose. The woman did make a choice, and that choice was to have sex. I understand that accidents happen. Condoms break, or birth control pills fail to work. However, the choice to have sex was still there. One of the growing problems I have seen with the USA is that people have learned that quite often they do not have to take responsibilities for their actions.

In my opinion, the Judge should have blocked this for a reason other than the one given. That being the ban doesn't take health reasons or risks into consideration.
Who are we as a society to determine whom can live and not?

In my opinion - abortion is wrong.

In cases of rape - my opinion has switched. No longer to I believe in abortion even for this.

The rapist should have his penis and testicles removed if a male - clitoris removed and vagina sewn shut if female. Then they should be placed into a maximum prison of the opposite sex - general population. Let their peers take over.

In cases of life/death for the mother it should be up to the mother to sign a waver as to whom should take precedence (unborn or her) in cases of emergency well before entering the hospital to give birth. In cases where the mother hasn't done this - then the father, doctor, or unbiased clergy for them should make the immediate decision. Only in cases of emergency should this ever become a factor.

As to this ruling, this judge (as many are doing lately) are trying to rewrite the law. The Attorney General Ashcroft has already promised an appeal - and will get a stay.
Well my opinion on this one is a little odd.....

For starters, I do feel that a womans right to choose is something that needs to be protected. On the other hand I personally don't feel that abortion should be something used as a type of contraceptive. In the case of rape, yes abortion should be a viable option for the mother. In most of these cases the hardship of a child born of a rape scenario is more than simply carrying the child for 9 months then birthing it, the real hardship comes in the finanncial responsiblity and mental responsibility for raising the child. What it would amount to is being constantly reminded for the rest of your natural life of a few seconds where you had NO control over what was happening to you. That in my mind is unconscionable for us to impose simply because some people feel that abortion in any situation is morally wrong.

However, none of this has anything to do with partial birth abortion. I'm of the opinion that, were you to need an abortion or simply want one, that the decision should be made prior to the end of the first timester. Partial birth abortion should only be used in the most dire circumstance, i.e. when the mother is likely going to die due to the birth. That is the only time a partial birth abortion should be used. The way it is currently used, is for terminating a pregnancy very very very late into the whole thing, at that point I think we move from terminating a fetus to killing a near formed child.

So yes, I think the law that currently exists making partial birth abortion illegal should stay as it stands.
Let's take rape, incest, malformations and all of that out of the equation for now and look at abortion as a contraceptive.

Where is the responsibility?

First you didn't plan pre-conception contraceptives and then you couldn't act fast enough to avoid a late term abortion?
LP, let's remove it from the equation to tidy up the topic. It is easier to deal with each permutation of the issue one at a time.

It was an organization thing, nothing more.
if you look at it the mother is essentially giving birth to a child and then they crush is skull to kill it. if this logic prevails what is to stop parents from killing their children any time between birth and the 18th birthday using the same method?
LiberalFinger is evading every question on this site. If you're talking about abortion you have to include the reason behind it. Not every woman has the same reason for wanting to abort the child.
Like mantrius' example several posts earlier:

Partial birth abortion should only be used in the most dire circumstance, i.e. when the mother is likely going to die due to the birth

Now there should be a special provision with the ban of abortion where there will be a lot of ifs and buts generated by the reason for the abortion whether it be rape, ancest and malformation.
It is simple LiberalFinger.
No one else seemed to have trouble understanding my intentions. Is there something I can help you with?

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