Friday, April 20, 2007

Supreme Court Upholds Partial-Birth Ban

Two days ago the nearly all-male U.S. Supreme Court voted to uphold a 2003 partial-birth abortion ban, which eliminates the procedure for women in their second (and, obviously, their third) trimester.

For those who do not know, there is an important clause in this ruling that further alienates women.

In the text of the ruling, it states that even if the woman's doctor feels it is safe to conduct the abortion, and is necessary for the health of the woman, the abortion is not allowed.

For clear reasons, women who support OWNING THEIR OWN BODIES are in absolute rage.

On April 17, the day of the ruling, Planned Parenthood's Deputy Director of Litigation and Law Eve Gartner said:

"Today the court took away an important option for doctors who seek to provide the best and safest care to their patients. This ruling tells women that politicians, not doctors, will make their health care decisions for them."

There are a number of reasons that women have abortions, and despite popular belief it is not only utilized as form of birth control. Not having access to abortions after the first 36 weeks could mean that the woman could die, the fetus could die (if it were to be born).

Not having access to abortion could cause problems later, especially if the mother was raped, abusing drugs, not economically stable, or still striving towards her goals; the child could be neglected, abused, become part of the (overcrowded) foster care system, or even worse perhaps, the juvenile justice system.

When people are not ready to have a child, or if they face severe health problems because of the pregnancy, it is my contention that women should have the right to choose.

But instead of focusing on the current and future health of the woman in need, the Supreme Court noted in its ruling that the practice of removal in the second trimester involves a "moral, medical and ethical consensus that is NEVER medically necessary and should be prohibited."

According to the text of the Supreme Court opinion, the fetus is removed in its entirety during the first trimester, while it is often separated during the second trimester.

I don't think it is necessary to discuss the nature of removal -- let's talk about the REAL gross part: the aftermath of having a child that may not have the resources to survive in a society where more money goes towards the war effort, and less goes to appropriate funding for mothers with children, families, education, and so on.

Or, let's be reminded that by not including the risk-to-health abortion option, the decision once again reminds all women of the misogynistic world in which we reside. The powers-that-be continue to chip away at our rights, our bodies. We should not be the moral subject of these eight older men (and one woman).

Post opinion rallying is going on. If you would like to speak your mind, visit Planned Parenthood.