The Supreme Court announced Wednesday it will uphold a law banning late-term abortions. It is clear that everyone has an opinion on the matter, especially women, because they have a right as well – to live.
The law does not create an exception when the mother’s health is at risk.
In the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote: "The law need not give abortion doctors unfettered choice in the course of their medical practice."
So basically, what they’re saying is that no one has the right to decide whether another lives or dies, that is, of course, unless you’re the government and the other person is pregnant woman. Rochelle Tafolla of Planned Parenthood Houston says that in an overwhelming majority of the time, late-term abortions are done so for the health of the mother.
“This particular procedure is usually done for some very dire health reasons," she says. "Many of these cases are where it’s a wanted pregnancy and it’s a serious problem that happened within that pregnancy or to that woman and here politicians are saying ‘We know what’s best for you, we don’t care what your personal situation may be, we’re just going to assume that you decided somewhere in your 22nd week oh, you just didn’t want to carry the pregnancy to term anymore.' ”
Tafolla added the ban also takes medical issues out of doctors’ hands and gives authority to politicians. The Seattle Times reported today that this has caused a state of confusion in the medical world. Gynecologist Dr. Eleanor Stanley told the Times there is no way to determine which procedure is referred to in the ban on partial-birth abortions.
"That's just a lay term," said Dr. Amy Meg Autry, a clinical professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. "What they describe could be actually almost any abortion procedure."
CNN.com reported that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called the decision “alarming” and wrote in the dissent the ban "tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by doctor's groups, including gynecologists." -- Dusti Rhodes
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.