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Do you support the U.S. Supreme Court in upholding the federal ban on partial birth abortions?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on April 19, 2007

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Photo of Ardyth Eisenberg

“No, I don’t agree with it at all. I actually worked on fighting it. I think it’s a horrible choice for a woman to have to make, and I don’t think any woman would make it lightly. It should be her decision, not a legislated decision.”

Photo of James Schaefer

“Yeah. I think our culture is as safe as our most vulnerable person is safe or unsafe.”

Photo of Anna Kimbrell

“No, I don’t agree, because there are situations in which it’s safer and necessary.”

Photo of Chad Harper

“I don’t know. I think that should be a woman’s decision, so I don’t think I’m in a position to say one way or the other.”


Jeff Barclay 10 years, 9 months ago

God have mercy on a nation that makes a mother's womb an unsafe place for a child.

craigers 10 years, 9 months ago

Partial birth abortions are the worst type. Heck yeah I support the decision of the high court.

jonas 10 years, 9 months ago

If you can evacuate a baby from the womb, and it is capable of actually living outside of the womb, then killing it is a bad decision.

HMcMellon 10 years, 9 months ago

The Supreme Court is a supreme joke. How can any patriotic American respect any decision coming from these low lifes.

These are some of the same anti-democracy screw ups who violated States Rights and put George Bush in office against the wishes of the voters in Florida.

Now, just look at the mess that resulted from the Supreme Joke Court putting that fake Christian Bush in the Oval Office. Just look at what he has done to America and to our reputation in the world. Just look at the melting icebergs and all the environmental damage that Bush has caused. Just look at the National Debt and all the money Bush borrowed to piss away to Halliburton and the other monopolies.

As a result of the Supreme Joke Court, all Bush now does is daily photo ops to salvage his 30% poll numbers. He wastes jet fuel flying around the country so he can, for example, wail on about the 32 people killed in Virginia while his failed policies in Iraq kill that many innocent people every day.

Further, as a result of the Supreme Joke Court, Bush's policies have caused America to have to borrow a trillion dollars from the Communist Chinese to pay for all his stupidity. Our children and grandchildren will be beholden to the Communists for generations as a result of the Supreme Court putting that idiot in office.

Regardless of yesterday's decision by the totalitarians on the Supreme Court, a woman's body is still her own. The religious wack jobs on the Supreme Joke Court will never be able to outlaw coathangers or prevent the back alley butchers from the 1950s from returning.

Lee Eldridge 10 years, 9 months ago

Approximately 2/3 of us support a ban on late term abortion. I'm pro choice, but support the ban on late term abortion as most Americans do.

Unix_Admin 10 years, 9 months ago

Yes I do support the court on this one.

bmwjhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Take away their chisel before they chip, chip, chip away all of your rights.

What will they ban next year?

sunflower_sue 10 years, 9 months ago

RI, does that mean we should all make a batch of Parker House rolls? Yummy!

as_I_live_and_breathe 10 years, 9 months ago

I should be able to stab my kid in the head anytime I want to. Up until he's able to move out of the house and start sending money home!!!!!

paladin 10 years, 9 months ago

Uh...yeah, I guess so. When them judges was back there at the Courthouse kickin the matter around some, I guess, they all phoned me up ta find out what I thought about it all, sos they could come up with a good decision in regards to the mess they was in. I said some days I was fer it and some days I was agin it, but most days I was agin it. They all said thanks fer yer help and rung off. Said they couldn't a done er without me, thanks ever so much. I guess that's why, maybe, they come up with what they figured out, so's I guess I oughta say that what they come up with is pretty much OK with me. Most the time.

paladin 10 years, 9 months ago

Helen McMellon pretineer sized er up, fer as I can tell.

Sigmund 10 years, 9 months ago

If you want/need an abortion, please do it before the baby is a viable human being and partially born only to vacuum out the brains and then crush its skull.

Problem "solved."

Crossfire 10 years, 9 months ago

I am opposed any court making a decision that should be made on a personel level.

The opponents of women's reproductive rights, lead by the newest Bush puppet inJustice Samuel A. Alito Jr. just slapped every woman in the usa a good one.

And Gepetto Bush said to Pinnocheo, "Good job Sammy. Now I will make you into a Real Boy."

Jamesaust 10 years, 9 months ago

I haven't had time to read the decision but as "Denak" quotes:

"...a State may properly assert important interests in safeguarding health, in maintaining medical standards, and in protecting potential life."

Strange then that this case does not save even one life. It says: Method A may not be used; you may use only the other methods, B through Z. (I have little doubt that methods B-Z WILL be used so ... not much progress.)

I like the core result but I suspect that I'm not going to find anything in the opinion about why Congress has better decision making ability (despite ample evidence to the contrary!) than these proto-mothers beyond merely asserting: "because we say we do."

Cait McKnelly 10 years, 9 months ago

Actually, Das_Ubermime, the law as it stands does NOT have an exception where the life of the mother is threatened. That was why so many people were shocked that the SC upheld it and why Ruth Bader Ginsberg made such a bitter minority dissent. It only proves that the right shift of the SC has devalued women to the point where their very lives can be endangered and the fetus will win. Which honestly doesn't make sense. This way TWO lives can be lost instead of one. But what the hay, it's "just a woman".

acg 10 years, 9 months ago

I'm so torn on this I don't even know where to start. I hate bans, on anything, really. As a parent, I say yes, I support it. As a woman and a liberal (oh gasp, yeah I said it, RT, bite me) I say no. So I guess my answer would be, I don't like asparagus.

preebo 10 years, 9 months ago

Purely from a legal standpoint, this is a profound ruling from the high court. They did everything except overturn Roe v. Wade here.

For the first time since 1973, the Supremes have said the government can place regulatory limitations on a women's right to an abortion. Just read Justice Kennedy's language in the majority opinion. Most importantly... "The government may use its voice and its regulatory authority to show its profound respect for the life within the woman."

...this is so broad in scope that future rulings furthering restrictions on abortion can stand on this ruling alone.

In short, this is a huge victory for Pro-Life advocates.

as_I_live_and_breathe 10 years, 9 months ago

Posted by redneckwoman (anonymous) on April 19, 2007 at 8:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)


??? you should have used that phrase on the penis that put it in there.....

Richard Heckler 10 years, 9 months ago

The Pro Life PNAC crew who kill unborn and live children around the world everyday with radiation poisoning from DU weapons,smart bombs and murdering whole families aka Iraq and Afghanistan with their eyes on Iran and Egypt.

The bombing of medical clinics.....

Why blame a woman for an unwanted pregnancy when the father should have said no no no I do not believe in sexual intercourse/screwing... and/or did not pull knowing full well the potential results?

beatrice 10 years, 9 months ago

8:15 in the a.m., and we have our first Nazi referrence! I think this is some kind of record for anyone to play the Nazi card so early in the game. It is going to be an ugly day, folks, so I say abort now.

Abortion is bad, making the choice to have one must be difficult, and I'm not going to freak about this decision that will effect so few.

Since the high court made a ruling on a medical decision, do we have to pay a co-pay?

Jace 10 years, 9 months ago

I'm amazed that in the past two weeks we had the big Imus scandal....and then the massacre at VaTech......neither of which was a OTS question!

...or did I miss that?

Ceallach 10 years, 9 months ago

Just heard that the Lawrence School District is in shutdown to do bomb threats!! Nothing on the front page of LJW. Thus far in the elementary school that my g-daughter attends they are in lock down but the students have not been informed, they are going along with their usual classroom activities.

Apparently the threats were very general . . . in City Hall, in a daycare, and in a school.

Jace 10 years, 9 months ago

Well, Ceal, today is April 19th.....and it was 12 years ago today in OKC........

sick minds out there, I guess.

And tomorrow is April 20th......the Columbine anniversary.

Grundoon Luna 10 years, 9 months ago

I think it is appalling that there is no exception for a threat to the life of the mother and this decision has devalued women to lesser beings than those that have never drawn a breath. So what if mother's who have other children that depend on them die. let the guy just find a new mommy for them. AS IF!! If there were a provision to protect the mother's health I'd be all for it, but there isn't so the decision is pure crap.

Grundoon Luna 10 years, 9 months ago

Which means 4 years before that it was Waco, Jace.

Dang! I hate it when I make a plural a possesive!!

preebo 10 years, 9 months ago

...this is a great article dealing with the courts ruling.

I recommend it for a greater perspective.

mick 10 years, 9 months ago

Boy was I glad when I found out men don't get pregnant.

Fangorn 10 years, 9 months ago

Mellon: "These are some of the same anti-democracy screw ups who violated States Rights and put George Bush in office against the wishes of the voters in Florida."

I must say the irony here is breath-taking, for you to cite States' Rights in this debate. Abortion is not mentioned at all in the Constitution (I have an extra copy in case you've never read it). Therefore, abortion law should be governed by Amendment X. "The powers not delegated to the United States [i.e. the federal government] by the Consitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." If Massachusetts wants open abortion laws, they could have them. No one can seriously believe Ted Kennedy's home state would outlaw abortion is Roe v. Wade is overturned. On the other hand, if Kansas wants to restrict or prohibit abortion, it should have that right.

Our laws, our whole system of government is guided and shaped by the Constitution. If we dislike some outcome of that guidance, there is a process for amending it. And it doesn't involve nine people in Washington wearing black robes.

Stephen Prue 10 years, 9 months ago

well said fangorn, your comments hit the ball out of the park.

craigers 10 years, 9 months ago

Liberal, that is what I was thinking. Going through a partial birth, would be just as threatening as a full birth.

beatrice 10 years, 9 months ago

Fangorn, while it is great to read your comments again, I'm afraid to say that your attempts at providing a common sense view from the right are no longer appreciated around here. We only want to hear from those who call all liberals things like "wacko Nazi baby killers." Please keep this in mind for future comments.

justthefacts 10 years, 9 months ago

The killing of 32 innocents at Virginia Tech was/is mourned, as everyone recognizes what harm can be done by one person who did not value the lives of human beings.

And yet....Every day in America, thousands of unborn children die before they are born, legally. And yet...we wonder why the culture of death and violence is winning and creating a country where so few truly value the lives of others?

Argue all you want about the government's proper role in regulating personal choices, or when life starts (query; If you leave the fetus alone, does it grow into a tree or a human?); I believe that the growing lack of respect for human life, at all stages of that life, is a root cause for a lot of ills.

zetagirl55 10 years, 9 months ago

I absolutely agree with the Supreme Court ruling. Partial birth abortions (or any abortions for that matter) kill children and damage women. They bring about nothing good for anybody involved. I have seen many comments on the well-being of the woman and arguments about medical necessity, so I wanted to share some information:

Is the procedure ever medically necessary? First of all, the procedure itself requires several days to perform, since the cervix must be dilated first. This means that the procedure is never used in an emergency to save the life of the mother. In addition, the procedure is medically risky to the mother. According to Drs. M. LeRoy Sprang and Mark G. Neerhof:

"None of these risks are medically necessary because other procedures are available to physicians who deem it necessary to perform an abortion late in pregnancy. As ACOG policy states clearly, intact D&X is never the only procedure available."10

In writing for the Journal of the American Medical Association, Drs. M. LeRoy Sprang and Mark G. Neerhof, conclude with the following statement:

"Intact D&X (partial-birth abortion) should not be performed because it is needlessly risky, inhumane, and ethically unacceptable. This procedure is closer to infanticide than it is to abortion."10

  1. M. L. Sprang and M. G. Neerhof. 1998. Rationale for Banning Abortions Late in Pregnancy. Journal of the American Medical Association 280:744-747.


denak 10 years, 9 months ago

Two comments.

1)Could someone, preferably someone with a medical background, tell me just what life threatening situation would warrant a partial birth abortion? The child is already 90% born. A few more pushes and the child is out. Cut the cord, give the child up for adoption. Where is the mother's life being jeopordized in this process???

2) Contrary to what some people argue, the decision made by the Surpeme Court is legally sound and keeping with Roe v Wade. Roe v Wade clearly states that the right is not absolute and that the the state has a vested interest in regulating the procedure and promoting life.

To quote the actual case:

"The Court's decisions recognizing a right of privacy also acknowledge that some state regulation in areas protected by that right is appropriate. As noted above, a State may properly assert important interests in safeguarding health, in maintaining medical standards, and in protecting potential life. At some point in pregnancy, these respective interests become sufficiently compelling to sustain regulation of the factors that govern the abortion decision. The privacy right involved, therefore, cannot be said to be absolute.

"...We, therefore, conclude that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision, but that this right is not unqualified and must be considered against important state interests in regulation.... "

No right, including speech and abortion, is absolute in this country. For me, there is no compelling legal reason as to why partial birth abortion should be allowed and I think the Justices were correct in their decision.


Tom McCune 10 years, 9 months ago

Here's an actual situation. I worked with this woman, but was not close personal friends with her.

Apparently she "had it all." Very intelligent. Well liked. Excellent career. Happily married. One day we learned she was pregnant. What could be better! She was happy and everyone was happy for her.

Some time fairly late in the pregnancy, she learned she had cancer of a very bad kind that could be treated by chemo and/or radiation. However, she could not receive the treatment while pregnant. It would kill the fetus within her and probably kill her as a result. Her choices were:

  1. Have an abortion late in the pregnancy, immediately go into chemo and/or radiation, hopefully survive, and maybe try to have more children later.

  2. Try to carry the pregnancy to term, hopefully deliver a healthy baby, and then start cancer treatment, but with the understanding that it would probably be too late for the treatment to be effective at that time.

She chose the latter and I will never forget her for that courageous decision, but it was indeed too late and she died from the cancer. Even though I will never forget her, I do not think the state should have the power to force everyone else to do likewise.

I'm not a doctor and I don't even know the precise details of timing, etc. So please don't burden the conversation with a lot of medical "what ifs." The details and timing could have been different for someone else. The problem of no medical exception should be obvious and the need to go to court to get court ordered exceptions case-by-case in situations like this is just an egregious interference in the doctor-patient relationship.

Jennifer Green 10 years, 9 months ago

Honestly? I'm scared. By the intensity of this discussion, and by this ruling.

I'm twenty years old, a woman, and I grew up in Lawrence. To give you some idea of my context.

I realize it isn't likely to happen to me --but there are women who have been faced with the medical necessity of late term abortions: other posters have offered links and specific instances. There will be others after this ruling whose lives may depend on this procedure. But the option is now prohibited them by the cost, the stress, and the social implications of litigation.

It is unlikely I will ever be caught in this trap. But I can't say the same for my sister, who has a potentially life-threatening auto-immune disease, and is subject to flare-ups of symptoms that leave her dehydrated, in pain, and dangerously malnourished --to the point of hospitalization, in some cases.

If a doctor told me that despite a hopeful start, her late-term pregnancy was failing, it would break my heart on her behalf. But it would hurt me more to have to stand by and watch her suffer, for want of this procedure.

The Supreme Court has shown a willingness to privilege the life of a fetus above the life of its mother. As a woman myself, I won't forget the insult --but if I'm lucky, it won't matter for me. But it may still effect my sister, and if you ask me, which I'd sacrifice-

Yeah, I have the courage, or maybe it's the coldness, to choose her over her unborn child.


Fangorn 10 years, 9 months ago

I was told about the school lockdown and was concerned about my daughter. I checked the LJW website to see if there was news. "I won't look at the OTS question," I told myself. "OK, I'll see what the question is, but I won't read the responses." "Well...maybe I'll read just a few." "Now I might as well read all of them...but I won't contribute. Too busy at work, you know." I think it's a sign of mental illness when a person lies so much to himself. (Go ahead, Bea ;), I left you a great opening there!)

I've really missed the discussions. And the vanilla ice cream (is BunE still around?). But work keeps me so busy and I dislike making hit-and-run posts. Actual discussion is much better. Although if you really want, I'll make up some flaming right-wing epithets to throw around. But you have to reciprocate. I'd hate to go to all that effort and not receive payment in kind. :)

I'll try to look in more often. It's just too much fun!

Karolyn Kinsey 10 years, 9 months ago

Abortion at any stage is murder, plain and simple. However, women AND men need to be educated in how to prevent pregnancy in the first place (and utilize that education), and if it still occurs, this decision should be left strictly to the woman (or teenager in many cases and their parents) and their doctor. Leave the black robes and the legislators out of these decisions, no matter what their persuasion.

All of our civil liberties are fleeing out the door and have been for many years. It's way past time we locked the door!

kshiker 10 years, 9 months ago

Newell --

That is a very good example of the principle of medical necessity. While I would definitely agree that this would represent a severe threat to the "life" of the mother, for which the law allows an exception (just not "health"), please read Kennedy's majority opinion and you will see that the "intact D & E" method is only one of the multiple methods to abort a fetus in the second and third trimesters.

There are numerous other procedures available that: (1) are not nearly as barbaric and (2) don't meet the definition of prohibited acts under the statute. Please read the opinion for a detailed analysis of the actual methods involved in the intact D & E procedure. If these same methods were employed on a puppy by a veterinarian, the animal welfare groups would be writing letters to Congress to stop the procedure.

dixiey2001 10 years, 9 months ago

The decision needs to be whether or not to have safe sex...not whether or not to destroy a human life. I support the Supreme Court's upholding.

jonas 10 years, 9 months ago

"Posted by zetagirl55 (anonymous) on April 19, 2007 at 11:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I absolutely agree with the Supreme Court ruling. Partial birth abortions (or any abortions for that matter) kill children and damage women. They bring about nothing good for anybody involved."

They may lower the overall crime rate.

gogoplata 10 years, 9 months ago

That means fewer murdered unborn babies. Sounds like a good thing to me.

Grundoon Luna 10 years, 9 months ago

No, Fang!! It's like crack!! Save yourself. You know that 1 post is too many and 100 isn't enough!!! Stay off the piz-eyboard!!!

beatrice 10 years, 9 months ago

Fangorn -- to paraphrase Godfather III, "Just when you thought you were out, they drag you back in!"

Yes, BunE is still around, but doesn't contribute nearly as often as she should. Sadly, One_More_Bob is lost to us, a casualty of the censorship wars.

serahjane 10 years, 9 months ago

I support the court's decision to uphold the ban. It's the least they could do. One million babies are aborted every year in America and 10% of those are aborted after the first trimester. This ban helps to save roughly around 100,000 children. They are little people. The are killed terribly and it's NOT ok to kill. Abortion is NOT birth control. There are many people who cannot have children who would gladly adopt the child a mother doesn't want. I should ask everyone out there these questions- Aren't you glad your mother didn't abort you? How about your husband or wife? Aren't you glad they weren't aborted. Murder is murder. Hopefully people will see that soon. Abortion reminds me of the way we treated slaves and Indians. We treated them inhumanely and didn't regard them higher than a piece of property. Yet, they are people, just like you and me. I understand how some could think this is a womens choice, and shouldn't be a court's decision. The women do make the choices, but they haven't chosen wisely.

hawklet21 10 years, 9 months ago

I wish that we didn't need any sort of legislation on a matter such as this. It is such a sensitive, personal issue that varies so greatly from case to case. But I do admit the procedure skeeves me out a little...

Tom McCune 10 years, 9 months ago

"Abortion at any stage is murder, plain and simple."

Your religion may say that. Mine does not.

"When is a fetus a person" is a religious question and since the First Amendment to our constitution says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;..." I think the Supremes decided wrongly in this case.

bodacious_b 10 years, 9 months ago

I would give that beverage a try.

I also support the supreme decision. It's a tragedy when our children are massacred. Don't you agree?

gogoplata 10 years, 9 months ago

I don't need a preacher to tell me that killing an unborn baby is murder. Didn't that Peterson guy get charged for 2 murders when he killed his pregnant wife. He killed 2 people.

It seems to me that many on these boards are so worried about being a good democrat or a good republican that they will deny the obvious to tow the party line. The right is not always right and neither is the left. Think for yourself.

trinity 10 years, 9 months ago

hawklet! please don't listen to marion's rantings! you know better! ;)

should i come pick you up from school?? :)

Tom McCune 10 years, 9 months ago

Well, Dude. The first amendment also prohibits any federal law which impairs the free exercise of religion, if you bother to read the second clause. In my opinion, the law in question does precisely that.

Flap Doodle 10 years, 9 months ago

Today is also the birthday of Ole Evinrude. (put, put, put)

Bruce Rist 10 years, 9 months ago

I wonder how many people would still approve after seeing the procedure performed.

promitida 10 years, 9 months ago

I see it this way: If a man and a woman (or a boy in a girl in some cases) feel they are mature enough to have sex. Then they are mature enough to have to handle the baby that can result from that. Either by keeping it, or allowing someone to adopt it. Rape is another case entirely, and in those cases, there should be exceptions up until a certain point. Though from what I've read, many times abortion following a rape is much more tramatic than if they had just had the baby anyway.

Fangorn 10 years, 9 months ago

Bea, I'm very sorry to hear about OMB. It was always interesting to have so many of them around. So we're back to just The Original?

AA, you were right. I think I should just stop struggling and let the quicksand take me!

Newell: I would assert that "When is a fetus a person?" is, in fact, a biological question. You might well say that "personhood" is also a question of cognizence, self-awareness, etc. And a fetus certainly lacks these. However, what degree of self-awareness is necessary before a life is protected by law? Would a mentally retarded person reach that theshold? What of someone who survives an accident but sustains a severe head injury? Would a one-month-old be protected? One Harvard "bioethisist" doesn't think so. Where would you draw that line?

openyourmindandshutyourmouth 10 years, 9 months ago

I wish it could be the woman's choice, however, some people just don't make good choices. For example, it would be the best possible outcome if these women would make the proactive choice to prevent the pregancy in the first place, if possible. I do understand that rape happens, and in that situation, I wish councelling and adoption would be the answer. How is this not murder??? I personallly believe all abortion is just plain wrong, but how can anybody think it is right to take a living breathing person who could sustain life outside it's mother, and kill it? This is exactly what is happening. Don't fool yourself into thinking it's not. Just last night on the news there was a diagram of the procedure where the baby is delivered all but it's head, then a hole is placed in the back of the skull, and the brain sucked out by a vaccuum, then the rest of the baby delivered. Graphic? Yes. I can't even let my kids watch the news with me anymore. So again, how is this not murder?

tir 10 years, 9 months ago

No, I don't support it, because there are no exceptions made even if the life of the mother is put at risk by carrying the pregnancy to term. The Supreme Court could be sentencing some pregnant women to death with this ruling. If you believe abortion is murder, what do you think killing the mother is?

HMcMellon 10 years, 9 months ago

These anti-choice decisions by the Supreme Court are a violation of many Constitutional principles. Among them is the Separation of Church and State.

Socialistic totalitarian Supreme Court decisions regarding a woman't choice about her own body are based entirely on an evangelical Christian theology that life begins at conception.

This narrow religious view is rapidly being "established" by the Supreme Court as law. That means we all will have to follow the doctrine of one religion group over our own.

Although termination of pregnacy is not a pleasant alternative, it has always been the mother's right to choose whether to allow her offspring to live or die. This is natural law and is her natural right.

Although most animals have to wait until birth to terminate a pregnancy, humans have tool-making skills and can terminate at a much early point.

We presently have modern, sterile clinics, but the tools for early termination are simple. Even without anyone knowing she is pregant, a human mother can use a sharp object and with a few stabs can force a miscarriage. No one needs to know. Of course, she could also die doing such a thing. It is far better to use the services of a professional.

Women have the right to choose regardless of what the totalitarians and socialists try to force on her. Even if prohibited by law, women will still seek to rid themselves of unwanted fetuses but will have to do it much more subversively.

HMcMellon 10 years, 9 months ago


No, abortion is not mentioned in the Constitution, but separation of church and state is, as well as many amendments that pertain to the right to privacy. Those who support allowing the State or Federal government to own a woman's reproductive organs go against the Constitution in many self evident ways.

But, you missed the issue completely and shot yourself in your own foot with your lack of a cogent line of thought. Once again on this issue as well as the selection and imposition of a dumb ass as our President, the Supreme Joke of a Court is trampling on States rights.

You must have missed the fact that they DON'T want to leave it up to the individual states to decide the abortion issue.

The direction the socialist totalitarians on the Supreme Court are moving is towards forcing all the States to conform to national mandates that make a woman's body the property of the State.

If it were left up to the States to impose this kind of totalitarian repression as you mistakenly claim, it wouldn't be so bad, because a woman could simply go to another State to terminate her pregnancy, but the Supreme Joke of a Court wants to impose its narrow totalitarian religious view on all the States and once again take away State's Rights, while also violating just about every provision of the Bill of Rights.

Something_is_Wrong 10 years, 9 months ago

Have any of you actually read the opinion? Intact D&E abortions should be illegal. In response to several comments, there does not need to be an exception for the mother's health because there is no - no - situation where the mother's health could be saved by Intact D&E and not good old regular D&E, which is still legal.

To clarify, Intact D&E is the so-called suck-the-brains-out-of-the-skull method. It requires the baby to be fully past the cervix with the exception of the head, and therefore it requires a larger dialation of the cervix, which as you can imagine may be more dangerous to women. In many cases, the baby, not fetus, is actually grasping at the doctor and kicking, until of course it is stabbed to death in the back of the skull. This is reality.

D&E, which not ruled on at all by the Supreme Court, is still legal. In this procedure, those who claim that a mother still has the right to choose where her life is at risk may have solice. Here, in this still legal practice, which is also partial-birth abortion, the baby is ripped out of the womb, sometimes piece by piece. Usually though, it is done more humanely by killing the baby with an injection of one of several fluids the day or two before, which seems reasonable so as to reduce the suffering, just in case the baby can actually feel. This of course is a medical uncertainty.

If the mother's life is at risk, then the injection need not take place, and the baby may be ripped, piece by piece, out of the mother's womb. This method requires a smaller dialation, which of course is safer for the mother.

There is no rational reason for anyone to claim that the Supreme Court has restricted the mother's right, unless of course you believe a mother has the right to infantcide. The holding of the decision is, instead, where there is extreme medical uncertainty as to the worthiness of a medical procedure, the legislature will be given deference. There is no worthiness to Intact D&E when good old-fashion D&E is still an option for the mother.

kshiker 10 years, 9 months ago

HMcMellon --

This might surprise you, but I completely agree with the first sentence of your last post. Abortion is not mentioned in the Constitution. For that matter, neither is the right to privacy.

The right to privacy was created by the Supreme Court (the one that you hate so much) in the 1960s to expand constitutional protections to the right of marriage and procreation. Supposedly, in the reasoning of previous courts, the right to privacy exists in a "penumbra" that the framers intended to create when they authored the Constitution.

Unfortunately, this line of reasoning is extremely thin, which is why the originalists (justices who defer to the framers) on the court routinely opine that the right to privacy is not provided in the Constitution.

Something_is_Wrong 10 years, 9 months ago

Oh yeah, also, the discussion on the tenth amendment is irrelevant because the Congress of the United States, not a State, passed this law pursuant to its commerce clause powers. See the concurring opinion of Justice Scalia.

In addition, the first amendment has nothing to do with this case because there is no religion that requires the sucking out of a baby's brains, as far as I know. And just because a law is supported by a religion, if not all religions it is not a violation of the first amendment. If morality has no place in the passage of criminal laws, then what purpose do criminal laws serve? Marion makes this point well, but fails to realize that the fourteenth amendment applies most of the Bill of Rights to the States.

kshiker 10 years, 9 months ago

Something Is Wrong --

Extremely good point and one that I think is lost on the commenters who have not taken the time to become informed and actually read the Kennedy opinion and the supporting documentation. This is a cruel, barbaric procedure that is not medically necessary. There are various other methods still available for second and third trimester abortions.

According to a nurse who worked at an abortion clinic quoted in the case, when the doctor stabs the "fetus" in the back of the head to scrape out the brains, the "fetus" is typically kicking its feet and attempting to grab the mother's legs or doctor's arms during the procedure. That really sounds like something that has no feeling or self-awareness to me!

If this case did not involve abortion politics and instead involved a procedure by which veterinarians disposed of puppies, there would be universal outrage over this procedure. This is an extremely sad day when people cannot put aside their ideological blinders and condemn a practice that is clearly barbaric!

pinkypie 10 years, 9 months ago

James Schaefer had a good point - how can you protect some lives and not others. How can it be illegal to harm an animal - but legal to end a human life? Is life important or not? Some of you would like to pick and choose who should be valued - but if you value life . . . them all life should be protected! As for my life, my uterus, my choice . . . listen to yourself. It's all about my, me, I. Selfishness personified.

HMcMellon 10 years, 9 months ago

SIW and others:

There is no question that D&E is a procedure that shouldn't be used casually, but when the life of the mother is involved, it may be the only alternative.

The decision yesterday requires the woman to go to court to get approval to save her life. Often these kinds of decisions have to be made in a matter of minutes. As it now stands, both the doctor and the woman could go to prison. For the woman, I guess prison is better than dying because the doctor was following the stupidity of the Supreme Court rather than his own training, but not that much better.

If I am dying and getting rid of the fetus by any means necessary is the only option, sorry, fetus, but you've gotta go.

SIW, you are mostly correct on your other points, but everyone, including every commentator on every network or news outlet that I have heard speak says that yesterday's decision is the first step in an agenda that will ultimately drive abortion completely underground.

Every commentator who has studied the language used by the various religious totalitarians on the Supreme Court says that the same logic will be used and the same vote will go down as abortion rights are taken away piece by piece in decision after decision in the years ahead.

And for all the other socialists and totalitarians who falsely claim that the right to privacy is not a constitutional issue, you should read the Bill of Rights. Nearly all of those amendments are based on a right to privacy.

It is my right to privacy that makes it unconstitutional for the government to establish laws that impose a particular religious doctrine (such as "life begins at conception") on me.

It is my right to privacy that prevents unreasonable search. It is my right to privacy that allows me to speak or publish without fear of the government detaining me.

When the totalitarians start minimizing our rights to privacy as they are in this forum, the terrorists have won.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 9 months ago

A business in town is actually trying to capitalize on 4-20 being a holiday. I'm trying to visualize what they will do to commemorate the event?.?

bea, OMB is here. Holler out "Marco" and he might play.

kshiker 10 years, 9 months ago

HMcMellon --

First, please find me the term "right to privacy" in the Constitution. If you are able to do this, then I will cease posting on this topic.

Second, if you would actually read the opinion, you would note that the "life" of the mother is protected by the statute. Before you respond, please read the opinion. I don't have the strength to tell you this again. The statute has an exemption to protect the "life" of the mother!!

del888 10 years, 9 months ago

What qualifications does the government have that allows them to make medical decisions? Maybe we should ask the doctors to end the war in Iraq.

kshiker 10 years, 9 months ago

Del888 --

Good point. Because under our system of government we obviously don't allow the government to make any other important decisions. Let me see, what qualifications does the government have that allows them to make . . . taxing decisions? spending decisions? environmental decisions? trade decisions? regulatory decisions?

I may be going out on a limb here, but I'm assuming that Joe Schmo Congressman did not write this particular piece of legislation. I'm assuming that they relied on medical experts in the OB/GYN field to advise them on the proper language to include in this legislation. Just a guess though.

HMcMellon 10 years, 9 months ago


Where did I say the "right to privacy" is in the Constitution?

I said the right to privacy is REFLECTED in the Bill of Rights and gave three very clear examples.

You are speaking a half truth. The decision yesterday requires a court to determine in advance whether the life of the mother is in question. In some cases that might be possible, but, again, as I said above, in an emergency situation, both the mother and the doctor could go to prison if they don't have time to get a court waiver.

I have heard several commentators speak to that fact today on several major networks. Sorry, but I trust their interpretation of the decision more than yours.

momofmore 10 years, 9 months ago

"However, women AND men need to be educated in how to prevent pregnancy in the first place (and utilize that education)..."

Might I suggest Duct tape works well! :) I mean what happened to GASP! NOT sleeping with someone until you were MATURE enough to take care of what you did! I teach my children consequences to their actions...Maybe it is time people stopped and thought about that!

Secondly as an adoptive mom of 5 children all with developmental delays - In a heartbeat I would adopt another children with mental or medical issues - so that says that yes there are indeed people with hearts who love these children/babies born with "disabilities" as well. My husband and I would love to have the PRIVLEDGE of being blessed enough to even love these children however long they lived. Some people think I waste my time...How can one waste their time loving a life??

Thirdly - having a niece that was born at the end of her 2nd trimester and visiting her at the NICU, I can attest that she was indeed human and GASP - NOT A BLOB OF CELLS! So it would have INDEED been killing a human to have had that done.

So when our KS court system sends people to prison in Wichita for the murder of mother and her baby she was carrying at the time, (In recent months) I would say that is indeed a good call by our court system and gladly uphold this ban, because my oh my!! There just MIGHT be a human in there!!

Get a grip people!! LIFE IS LIFE!! Were you any less human if you were born early?? These babies CAN live. There was 1 little boy in NICU who was born at 5 1/2 months. He was SO tiny!! But he had ALL his parts! 5 fingers on each hand, 5 toes on each foot! Did that just magically happen right before he was born?

I seen him a year later...I watched him walk and watch his sisters...was he ANY less a child?!!

Lets as a country get over the "It is all about ME!!! attitude" Might just improve us!

Fangorn 10 years, 9 months ago

Mellon: "Thou shalt not kill" is a very old religious teaching. Let's repeal all the laws against murder. We certainly couldn't allow some antiquated notion founded in religion to guide our modern, enlighten sensitivities.

"Totalitarian" seems to be your shibboleth. You appear quite familiar with the concept. However, I think you are projecting. You are apt to see falsely in others what you are loath to see in yourself.

It is a point of weakness in your arguments that no one can disagree with your position unless they are defective: morally, mentally, ethically, perhaps even physically. "You disagree with me, so you must be crazy or stupid." Asserting this or being delusional enough actually to believe it relieves you of any responsibility for answering an opposing position.

And I challenge you : no, I defy you : to defend your statement that I misquoted the First Amendment. You didn't even get the wording correct. It's "Congress shall make no law, etc." If you can't clearly remember the text, I have little reason to believe that you would clearly understand the meaning or the historical context. Or perhaps you've merely been "brainwashed" into accepting a rather modern interpretation of this amendment, rather than the way it was understood for the first century and a half or so of our nation's history.

Finally ("it's about time", all the posters say), "everyone" once knew that Indians were savages. "Everyone" once knew that black people weren't really people, or only three-fifths people (that was actually Constitutional at one time). "Everyone" knew that slavery was the natural order of the world, as it still is in some places. "Everyone" knew that segregated education was all right because schools were "separate but equal" (another decision by the SCOTUS). And at other times "everyone" knew the world was flat, disease was caused by bad humors, and the Boston Red Sox would never again win the World Series. You may want to exercise more caution when proclaiming what "everyone" knows.

kshiker 10 years, 9 months ago

HMcMellon --

Just to set the record straight, you should not be receiving important legal news from Nickelodeon TV. If you would like to get the real scoop, please read the opinion instead of relying on tv news.

There is no right to privacy either explicitly mentioned in the Constitution or "reflected" in the Constitution. It is a creature of judicial creativity in the 1960s. It exists in a "penumbra" of the 14th Amendment, which is another nice judicially-created term that has no real constitutional meaning.

kshiker 10 years, 9 months ago

I'm out for the night. Enough intellectual stimulation for the day. Good luck in getting this thing resolved.

To all the critics, my final plea is for you to read the opinion!!! Stop relying on DailyKos for your arguments.

Fangorn 10 years, 9 months ago

Mellon: Your incessant name-calling really detracts from the presentation of your argument. Let's see if you can respond at least for a couple of paragraphs without falling back into it.

Separation of church and state is not mentioned in the Constitution. The phrase comes from a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association. Many (yourself included) rob the words but not the context of Jefferson's letter and apply it to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. You then misinterpreting it to mean that religious belief cannot inform public policy, rather than as a prohibition against the federal government establishing an official state religion, which was the concern that prompted the Danbury Baptist letter to which Jefferson was replying.

Regarding my first post, I apologize if the line of thought wasn't "cogent" enough for you. Allow me to simplify: 1) Amendment X says if the Constitution doesn't give a power to the federal government and doesn't prohibit the States from having it, then that power belongs to the individual States or to the people. 2) Abortion is not address by the Constitution, therefore it cannot be a power given to the federal government. 3) This combination means the States have the power to decide the abortion issue for themselves. I'll admit it's not quite a syllogism, but I hope it's clear enough for you.

Your concern about totalitarianism is 180 degrees out of phase. The decision allows states to prohibit the procedure; it does not mandate that they do so. The real totalitarian decision occurred in 1973 when the SCOTUS struck down the laws of 50 states and removed a divisive moral issue from any legislative input. States weren't allowed to make individual laws as the recent decision allows. Thus, the 1973 Court imposed its narrow secular view on all the states.

Fangorn 10 years, 9 months ago

Azure_Attitude: You have no idea how right you were! I've got to get up in four hours, yet here I am going back and forth with someone when neither of us is likely to be swayed by the other. Posting is like potato chips: you're just fine until you have that first one ... then just one more ....

That reminds me: a friend traveling in Utah found a beer called Polygamy Porter. Its tag line is "Why have just one?"

HMcMellon 10 years, 9 months ago


You know I am correct or you wouldn't try to obfuscate the truth with a weak attempt at humor.

I don't have to read the decision. It is well reported (over and over on many news sources) that the decision yesterday requires the court to approve in advance before the procedure can be used on a specific patient.

They all agree that in an emergency, when there is no time to petition the court, a doctor will have to choose between saving the life of the woman or going to jail.


Again your new argument is also irrelevant. The SC is suppose to protect us from both the Feds or the States violating our rights, not encouraging states to kill women in favor of saving fetuses.

To both Fangorn and Kshiker,

I don't know what more to say about your both repeating the worn-out totalitarian propaganda line that we've all heard a hundred times about the actual word "privacy" not being in the Bill of Rights. Since I never claimed that it was contained in the Bill of Rights, your posting this stale spin is irrelevant.

However, Your continued use of this false argument indicates that you both apparently have been brainwashed into believing that rights such as freedom of religion, speech, assembly, press, unreasonable search, etc. are not based have nothing to do with citizens' privacy being infringed on by the government. Anyone who has actually read the Bill of Rights know that your assertion is crazy.

Such a belief on your parts obviously indicates that you both have lost the ability to think, reason or see the obvious. It is sad that you are so willing to give up your privacy to Big Brother.

I'm not calling you names when I point out that you both support totalitarian and socialist ideas. I am only trying to accurately describe your positions.

The ideas you advocate are clearly totalitarian and socialist. Your attempt to discredit the Bill of Rights is a necessary in order to implement totalitarianism. You attempt to hide the fact that a doctor would have to contact a courts in an emergency to save the life of a women smacks of a totalitarian tactic.

I'm sorry you consider this name-calling. Many totalitarians and socialists are proud to believe as you both clearly do and do not consider such terms to be name calling. In fact, most would consider my use of the terms to describe your ideas to be a compliment, not name calling.

BTW, despite you weak attempts to misquote it, the First Amendment is very clear:

"Congress will pass no law respecting an establishment of religion..."

Everyone knows that the idea that "life begins at conception" is religous dogma that is being promoted by a narrow sects of evangelicals. It is not a mainstream idaa. It is a religious idea. When Congress and the courts allow a unique religious idea like that to be the basis of law, it clearly violates the the First Amendment quoted above.

There is really no question about it.

George_Braziller 10 years, 9 months ago

Forget the entire "moral" or "religious"or "constitutional" or "legal" arguments. It's a woman's choice whether or not to have an abortion. Unless you are the one who is pregnant no one else has a say in this.

coolmom 10 years, 9 months ago

i think it is wrong in most cases to have an abortion but i also think that there are exceptions to every rule and that women should be allowed to make the decisions that are right for them. also i believe that fresh veggies are good for you even if you dont like asparagus, yuch

shirinisb 10 years, 9 months ago


Right answer. Unless you're a woman stfu.

HMcMellon 10 years, 9 months ago


According to the law, a fetus is not a human being. Thus, you are wrong. Abortion is not murder.

Again, the idea that life begins at conception is a religious idea that is promoted a certain religious groups. It has never been a part of any legal definition by any society in the entire history of humankind.

When the Supreme Court or Congress gives into these religious groups and puts their dogma into our laws, these officials are in violation of the First Amendment.

Fangorn 10 years, 9 months ago

Mellon: At different times in history, even in our own country, women and/or black people (or red people or yellow people or brown people or even white people - take your pick) were legally not considered human, or at least not fully human. These were legal standings, defined by the prevailing laws of the times and places in question. Did that make it right or moral to treat them as non-humans? To be consistent, you must certainly believe the Holocaust was perfectly acceptable because German law didn't recognize the humanity of the Jews. To paraphrase a recent commentator on the issue: "According to the law, a Jew was not a human being. Thus, you are wrong. The Final Solution was not murder." Hitler would have loved you! HMcMellon, Proud Nazi! I'll paraphrase you once last time: "I'm not calling you names when I point out that you support totalitarian and socialist ideas. I am only trying to accurately describe your positions."

HMcMellon 10 years, 9 months ago


The proof of the extremist goals of the anti-choice movement is reflected in the Supreme Court decision this past week that essentially forces a doctor in an emergency situation to allow the woman to die in order to protect her fetus.

The fanaticism of the anti-choice movement is also reflected by illogical statements such as yours above where you absurdly try to connect America with Nazi Germany.

Such arguments are bizarre, especially when the intent is to pass laws that will prevent citizens from making decisions about their own bodies. Taking away people's freedom of choice is what Nazism was all about.

The anti-choice movement used to involve only killing doctors, but now it also includes killing women! The idea that the life of a fetus is more important than the life of a woman is no different than the Nazi idea that the life of a Aryan is more important than the life of a Jew.

The way the anti-choice movement is slowly chipping away at the Bill of Rights reminds me of what the Nazis did in Germany during their early years.

Given the fanaticism we see in this thread and elsewhere, I have no doubt that the anti-choicers would eventually like to pass laws that will round up "women at risk," just as the Nazis rounded up the Jews.

Once a society starts taking away the right of a citizen to control her own body, putting her in a detention camp is the next logical step. After all, if a woman is in detention and being watched 24 hours per day, she can be prevented from aborting herself.

If the totalitarian anti-choicers continue to use lies and distortions to get into positions of power, I also expect to see monthly forced examination of unmarried women.

In the mind of the anti-choicers, monthly examinations will be necessary to determine is a unmarried woman is preganant and whether or not she needs to be sent to a detention camp.

Fangorn 10 years, 9 months ago

Mellon: If you will tell me your language of origin, I'll make an effort to learn it, since English is obviously not it. I was not trying to "connect America with Nazi Germany", I was connecting YOU to Nazi Germany, albeit partially tongue-in-cheek based on your earlier efforts to paint me and kshiker as socialist and totalitarian.

But your remarks reminded me of something I had forgotten that really does tie your views to Hitler and his movement. One of the greatest proponents of abortion in America today is Planned Parenthood, which is unsurprising since they make millions of dollars a year from the industry. The founder of this organization, Margaret Sanger, had many of the same goals as the little Austrian. Google "Sanger" and "Negro Project" and do a little research yourself. Early contributors to her efforts included Ernst Rudin, who was the director of genetic sterilization in Nazi Germany, and Leon Whitney, who praised Hitler's racial purification programs.

Earlier I merely referenced your emphasis on what was "legal" - to the exclusion of any consideration of what might be moral or ethical - to point out that the Nazis did the same thing to the Jews. Now I am reminded that there is a more direct connection between the German National Socialist Workers Party and the founder of today's leading proponent of abortion. Thanks for bringing it up!

Fangorn 10 years, 9 months ago

Mellon: You should refrain from referring to "pro-choice" since it is patently false. If the term actually meant anything, the efforts of groups that claim the moniker to stop the forced abortions in the People's Republic of China, thereby giving the women of that country a "choice", would be as visible as their efforts to ensure abortions are available everywhere else in the world. As it stands, these organizations - and you, it would seem - are simply pro-abortion. Since your views so obviously have more to do with abortion than choice, it's interesting that you so strongly prefer the latter term to the former.

HMcMellon 10 years, 9 months ago


Forcing a woman to have an abortion is no different than forcing her not to have one. Freedom of choice is the issue.

Your point of view and the point of view of the Communist Chinese and the Nazis are all based on the totalitarian premise that a citizen's body is the property of the State.

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