By Rori Black
Today the Supreme Court upheld the misnomered “partial birth” abortion ban implemented in 2003.
While the bill itself is named The Partial Birth Abortion Act of 2003, it refers to a medical procedure called “intact variant of D&E”, dialation and extraction as opposed to dialation and curettage. In writing the act, Kennedy chose to use the more inflammatory term to shore up support for the bill.
The justices, voting 5-4, refused to invalidate the 2003 law even though it lacks an exception for cases posing a risk to the mother’s health. The court also rejected claims that the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act is so vaguely worded it would force doctors to forgo a commonly used, constitutionally protected abortion technique for fear of prosecution.
Bush’s two appointments, Roberts and Alito, joined Kennedy, Scalia, and Thomas in voting to uphold the ban.
Bush signed the measure into law in 2003 saying, “a terrible form of violence has been directed against children who are inches from birth.” In reality, this extremely rare procedure usually occur in the second trimester.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, opposed this law because the banned procedure is often the best option for women:
The intact variant of D&E offers significant safety advantages over the non-intact method, including a reduced risk of catastrophic hemorrhage and life-threatening infection. These safety advantages are widely recognized by experts in the field of womenâ€™s health, authoritative medical texts, peer-reviewed studies, and the nationâ€™s leading medical schools.
At least they’re thinking of the children.