Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A "Victory" For Pro-Lifers

I hate journalism in this country:

The Supreme Court's conservative majority handed anti-abortion forces a major victory Wednesday in a decision that bans a controversial abortion procedure and set the stage for further restrictions.

First, the majority is dubiously conservative at best. Alito and Roberts haven't made enough rulings to be considered conservative as yet.

Second, this wasn't a major victory. This is a tiny, and dare I say, insignificant battle in a war that has brought conservatives nothing buy defeat. This could turn out to be our Battle of Alamein, or it could simply be a bone which the GOP can throw at the base come election time to get them to once again support someone who doesn't really care about ending abortion. I'd put my money on the latter.

The 5-4 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy said the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act that Congress passed and President Bush signed into law in 2003 does not violate a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.

Seeing how there is no constitutional right to abortion I can't see how it could.

More than 1 million abortions are performed in the United States each year, according to recent statistics. Nearly 90 percent of those occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and are not affected by Wednesday's ruling. The Guttmacher Institute says 2,200 dilation and extraction procedures—the medical term most often used by doctors—were performed in 2000, the latest figures available.

I don't want to rain on the only parade the Pro-Life movement has had in the last thirty years, but saving two thousand lives, while certainly laudatory, hardly helps the more than one million fetuses who caught mother's ire and ended in death. It should also be noted that not a few women prolonged the decision to have an abortion because they could. My guess is that we'll see a very slight decrease in the amount of abortions performed in this country. If this latest ruling serves to eventually overturn one of the worst decisions in Supreme Court history my hesitancy to rejoice will have been unnecessary. But until that day, there is still quite a bit of work to do.

Drudge links to the reactions of the pretenders to the throne.

Let's start with the Democrats and her highness Hillary:
"This decision marks a dramatic departure from four decades of Supreme Court rulings that upheld a woman's right to choose and recognized the importance of women's health. Today's decision blatantly defies the Court's recent decision in 2000 striking down a state partial-birth abortion law because of its failure to provide an exception for the health of the mother. As the Supreme Court recognized in Roe v. Wade in 1973, this issue is complex and highly personal; the rights and lives of women must be taken into account. It is precisely this erosion of our constitutional rights that I warned against when I opposed the nominations of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito."

Everybody's favorite Negro
"I strongly disagree with today’s Supreme Court ruling, which dramatically departs from previous precedents safeguarding the health of pregnant women. As Justice Ginsburg emphasized in her dissenting opinion, this ruling signals an alarming willingness on the part of the conservative majority to disregard its prior rulings respecting a woman’s medical concerns and the very personal decisions between a doctor and patient. I am extremely concerned that this ruling will embolden state legislatures to enact further measures to restrict a woman's right to choose, and that the conservative Supreme Court justices will look for other opportunities to erode Roe v. Wade, which is established federal law and a matter of equal rights for women."

Lastly, $400 haircut, man of the people, John Edwards:
"I could not disagree more strongly with today's Supreme Court decision. The ban upheld by the Court is an ill-considered and sweeping prohibition that does not even take account for serious threats to the health of individual women. This hard right turn is a stark reminder of why Democrats cannot afford to lose the 2008 election. Too much is at stake - starting with, as the Court made all too clear today, a woman's right to choose."

When you keep in mind that this decision bans only a specific form of abortion, a form so gruesome PETA would riot if it was applied to baby kittens, and you can understand why the Democrats have been wandering in a political wilderness for so long. Obama says he is a uniter or some such twaddle, but that doesn't stop him from taking an extreme position on this one. If you're terribly upset that the court allows Congress to decide if certain types of infanticide can be made illegal you need to take a look at your position. Next time you hear someone talking about how pro-lifers won't compromise on abortion, think back to the words of the three Democratic clowns.

Now on to the Republican stooges, starting with Rudy Giuliani:
“The Supreme Court reached the correct conclusion in upholding the congressional ban on partial birth abortion,” Giuliani said in a statement on the 5–4 decision. “I agree with it.”

Brave words from New York's former mayor. John McCain speaks in the same article:
Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) hailed the decision as “a victory for those who cherish the sanctity of life and integrity of the judiciary.” The senator added that the ruling also “speaks to the importance of nominating and confirming strict-constructionist judges who interpret the law as it is written, and do not usurp the authority of Congress and state legislatures.”

Lastly from Mitt Romney:
“Today, our nation’s highest court reaffirmed the value of life in America by upholding a ban on a practice that offends basic human decency,” former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said. “This decision represents a step forward in protecting the weakest and most innocent among us.”

Words are fine and good, but they need to be backed up by actions. This is still the only thing the Republicans have done since Roe v. Wade was passed, and while the party does deserve some credit, they need to keep chipping away at abortion before I'll think about voting for them again.

The worst thing about this decision is that loyal Republicans can continue to pretend like there is a difference between the two parties. Never mind that this is one of only a few issues where the parties do actually disagree and that it was decided by the court. The parties are still basically the same, but they pretend otherwise so that we go along for the ride. They'll be parroting each other on most issues within two weeks. Count on it.


troutsky said...

You certainly have a hard time celebrating. Dobson and Robertson are beside themselves, even if we haven't "taken out" Hugo Chavez yet.Alito and Roberts aren't conservative? Wow.

A Wiser Man Than I said...

Dobson and Robertson are beside themselves...

They know that this "proves" that they were right for supporting Bush, and will make it that much harder for them and their followers to get off the GOP bandwagon.

Alito and Roberts aren't conservative? Wow.

It's only a theory of mine. I have a hard time believing that Bush, who hasn't governed like a conservative save for a tax-cut or two, appointed a conservative judge. If GOP nominees were always conservative, all decisions would come down 7-2. They usually don't.

Everybody benefits by having the court go slightly one way or the other; it gives the illusion of parity.

Keep an eye on the two new justices during the next year or so. We'll see if I'm right.

troutsky said...

I see your point about the illusion of parity. To obvious a slant and the People might wake up.We are perhaps getting nearer that threshold. Bush governs like a conservative in terms of the Authoritarian Father model of social policy.One could make the case that by bankrupting the government with spending he is purposefully removing the "mother" enabler which keeps society from "growing up".( Hint- Ive been reading a little George Lafoff)

troutsky said...


A Wiser Man Than I said...

That's an interesting thought, but I'm not sure there's anything purposeful about it. From a politician's standpoint, it makes sense to spend as much money as you can for as long as you can.

Still, if you're correct, when there is no more money (i.e. when our paper money has no value) then mother government exits, leaving emasculated men to rule society. Hoo-rah.

Donny said...

how about our defeat in mexico city?