Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Supreme Court's ruling upholding ban on
abortion technique is poor medicine and weak law.

From the Houston Chronical editorial board:

Though the ruling does nothing to reduce late-term abortion, it certainly corrodes doctors' ability to choose treatments according to medical need. Last week marked the first time the Supreme Court has upheld a ban on an abortion technique. Now specialists must make their surgical decisions based not on the medical situation at hand, but on the authority of the court.

The court's ruling assaults the autonomy not only of women's physicians, but of women, themselves. The ban, Justice Kennedy wrote, would protect a woman from "grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns, only after the event, what she did not know" about the procedure. It is hard to envision a court ban of a procedure because of men's presumed ignorance of its details.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg rightly protested the sexism in Kennedy's words. The modern U.S. legal system long ago rejected such beliefs about women's frailty, she wrote.

In the absence of better reasoning, it seems, the Supreme Court is reviving those myths. It has also shown willingness to ignore medical evidence when ruling on a highly politicized topic.

Click here for more.

Wow, the more I read about this decision the more outraged and/or frightened I become. I mean, of course I don't like it because I'm liberal and pro-abortion rights and all that, but this is one stinker of a ruling. Not only does it signal a shift away from the concept of judicial review, the two hundred year old precedent on which the ability for the Court to strike down unconstitutional laws is based, but it also ignored boatloads of medical evidence, and threw in some weird ideas about women's emotional weakness, that is, straight-up sexism, to boot. It's almost as though the Court's right wing, since their psychotic ruling in Gore v. Bush, has simply given up on any attempt to even appear to be rational.

And these guys are relatively young. We may get past Bush, but we've got some hard times ahead.