Wednesday, November 30, 2005

SCOTUS Review of Abortion Law

The Supreme Court began reviewing a New Hampshire law that requires under-18 girls to notify their parents if they want to get an abortion. This is a pivotal case because it will illustrate the course Chief Justice Robert's court will take regarding women's rights. Furthermore, this may be the beginning of an even more bitter fight between choice advocates and anti-abortionists. Here are some snippets of the Reuters article explaining this event. You can find the the full article here.

Why is this case important? Reuters gives us a brief explanation:
Arguments on the New Hampshire law will be the first abortion case for new Chief Justice John Roberts. It could give some indication whether he supports giving states more power to restrict abortions.

Roberts, who was nominated by President George W. Bush, has never ruled on an abortion case. At his Senate confirmation hearing, he declined to say how he would vote on future cases.

The case presents the issue of whether state parental notification laws must provide an exception when the minor's health is at risk.

The New Hampshire law required that a parent be notified 48 hours in advance of any abortion for anyone under age 18. It provides an exception when the minor's life is in danger, but not for medical emergencies that are not life-threatening.

Looks like this will be a true fight! Wingnuttia and its radical regime will surely unleash a fierce campaign supporting the law. However, the pro-choice crowd has history on its side:

In its last abortion decision in 2000, the Supreme Court ruled that state abortion laws must provide an exception to protect the pregnant woman's health. It struck down a Nebraska law that banned a type of abortion procedure.

A federal judge and a U.S. appeals court declared the New Hampshire law unconstitutional because it lacked provisions for an exception involving a medical emergency. The law, adopted in 2003, has never been enforced.

Despite this advantage, the fight will be unrelenting!

The high court has said a law is unconstitutional when it posed an undue burden on women in a large percentage of cases. It will consider whether a more difficult standard should be used, striking down the law only when the burden is unconstitutional in all cases.

Whatever happens with this case will set the tone for things to come. Will Roe v Wade be overturned someday? Will the Supreme Court give states more authority on this issue? Or will things remain the same? We'll have to wait and see.

I wasn't going to do this, but I will share my personal views on abortion. As a male, I don't know shit about being pregnant or giving birth to a child. As a young single guy with no kids, I don't know how difficult it is to raise children. I think the practice of abortion, which kills the possibility of a new child, is horrible, especially for the woman experiencing this trauma. It's a hard decision to make, and there are physical implications to it as well.

Nevertheless, being a man who will never give birth to a child (lucky for us, huh guys?), I can't look at a woman and tell her she can't make such a decision. When a woman chooses abortion simply because she doesn't want the child, I am sickened! However, when a woman knows she won't be able to care for the child, or that her health is at risk, I understand. I also understand that conservatives are wrong when they say abortion kills actual human beings. There's a fatal assumption, that embryos, zygotes, and fetuses are equal to a newborn child. But I also understand that fetuses et al are living things.

Perhaps I'm just talking out of my ass here. I have a hard time articulating my point of view on this issue. And I think that's the key. For those of us who don't understand, let's step aside and have those who do, women, decide. In a nutshell, I'm pro-choice. But I sure wish abortions didn't exist!


BigNewsDay said...

I fully agree with your opinion on abortion. I've always said that I'm pro-choice, but strongly believe that abortion is the wrong choice. I have a nine-year-old son, and I can't even imagine him being aborted. I do believe that this should not be decided by our government and that this should be considered a women's issue for women to decide, and that we should never let moral issues be decide in our government or courthouses.

Osgiliath said...

I'm personally up in the air on the abortion issue. While I believe in a womans right to choose, I feel that Roe V Wade should be overturned, not because of the results of the ruling, but because the ruling was an usurption of power on the part of the courts. The Supreme court is not there to create new law, but to verify the constitutionality of existing law.

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