Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Life Links 6/10/09

George Tiller's abortion clinic will be permanently closed. Here's the statement from his family.

Here's an interesting quote from an LA Times article on abortion fatigue after Tiller's death.
"I am currently exploring every option to be able to continue to make second- and early, medically indicated third-term abortions available," said Tiller associate LeRoy Carhart in a statement. Carhart, a Nebraska physician, performed abortions at Tiller's clinic on a rotating basis with two California doctors.
So besides Carhart, there were at least two other doctors who would help Tiller perform late abortions. I don't how many news stories I've read this week which have blindly accepted Warren Hern's assertion that only three doctors in the U.S. provide third-trimester abortions.

Rebecca Taylor highlights the following sentence from an article entitled, "Getting beyond the welfare of the child in assisted reproduction" in the Journal of Medical Ethics about assisted reproductive technology.
Assisted reproduction is primarily about us, actual people in an actual society, and how potential children may affect us.

Isn't it funny when some pro-choicers attack a prolifer by claiming that the prolifer is saying something which must mean they think people are dumb and then the pro-choicer goes on to show themselves to be woefully misinformed. Jamelle at The United States of Jamerica does this in a post entitled, "Ross Douthat thinks you're stupid."

She goes on to show she only has a rudimentary knowledge of abortion polling,
According to Gallup, this is how it breaks down: roughly a quarter of Americans believe abortion should be legal in every circumstance, roughly half of Americans believe abortion should be legal in some circumstances, and roughly a quarter of Americans believe abortion should never be legal. What’s more, I’m sure that Americans would be fully in favor of the Roe v. Wade/Casey v. Planned Parenthood status quo if it were described to them free of propaganda.

This is absolutely hilarious considering most polls which ask people about Roe v. Wade falsely claim it only legalized abortion in the first trimester. And if you actually ask people when they'd specifically allow abortion, a large percentage of people in the "some circumstances" turn out to be people who only favor legal abortion in cases of rape or life or serious physical health risk to the mother and would completely oppose the current legal regime in our country.

Then Jamelle tries to tell us what she thinks Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey did (free of propaganda, of course)
That is, a status quo where first trimester abortion is virtually unregulated, second trimester abortion is subject to restrictions of varying degree, determined by each state, and third trimester abortion is illegal except in extreme circumstances.
I'm wondering what second trimester restrictions she referring to? In Roe's trimester framework, states are allowed to make second trimester restrictions which are "reasonably related" to the mother's health but this really doesn't allow for much restriction at all. Even states like Mississippi, which have passed nearly every kind of restriction you can think of, haven't been able to restrict second trimester abortions. The lone Mississippi abortion clinic advertises that it will perform second trimester abortions. Planned v. Casey allowed regulations on abortion which aren't an "undue burden" on the mother and for years an "undue burden" was basically whatever Justice Sandra Day O'Connor thought was an undue burden. Now it's basically whatever Justice Kennedy believes to be an undue burden.
This actually gets to the other thing I don’t like about this column – Ross Douthat thinks we’re stupid. No, he doesn’t outright say it, but his argument only works if his readers are complete and total idiots.
Actually, Ross is assuming his readers are somewhat informed. Jamelle is obviously not.
Under current law, there already is substantive debate over second and third trimester abortion. States already can regulate and restrict abortion in both periods, and in many states, there already is a “saner, stricter legal regime.”
She then fails to note a single second trimester restriction and fails to note a single state which has been able to ban or severely restrict second trimester abortions. Nor does she ever mention that "health" as defined by Doe v. Bolton is so all-encompassing that allows for abortion throughout pregnancy as long as a woman wants one and can find a physician willing to perform one.

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