Monday, June 04, 2007

Sad day

Today, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a decision by a lower court which ruled that Michigan's Legal Birth Definition Act was unconstitutional.

After reading the opinion, written by Judge Boyce Martin, I'm disgusted by how a judge can basically ignore a very relevant section of a law in their opinion. Throughout his opinion, Martin continually acts like the Legal Birth Definition would prohibit D & E abortions along with suction curettage abortions. He does this mainly by ignoring the Legal Birth Definition Act's definition of "anatomical part."

The LBDA defines "anatomical part" by saying, ""Anatomical part" means any portion of the anatomy of a human being that has not been severed from the body, but not including the umbilical cord or placenta."

But you'd never know that from reading Martin's opinion. You'd think the law banned any type of abortion where any part (whether attached or not) of the unborn child's body was outside the woman's body.

Here's the text from the decision (page10):
Because an anatomical part must be removed to conduct a D&E abortion, it is apparent that the Michigan statute would prohibit D&E, and under the framework of Stenberg and Gonzales, impose an unconstitutional undue burden.

Additionally, as the plaintiffs point out and the district court found, the statute's plain language would also apply to some suction curretage abortions, medical abortions and induction abortions, because the signs of life identified in the statute, such as a heartbeat, are often present after the fetus or embryo passes beyond the vaginal introitus in such procedures.

It is also disappointing that the court's decision immediately starts discussing the constitutionality of banning of abortion procedures and never addresses whether a state can define and decide when legal rights begin.

No comments:

Post a Comment