South Dakota’s attempt to ban every abortion except where the mother will certainly die otherwise has made the final step into law. Carpetbagger has a good analysis of less-than-enthusiastic reactions among some pro-lifers.
Basically, this seems like a good thing as far as abortion law goes. On a practical level it reinforces the picture of abortion opponents as deranged extremists. The law will make it to the Supremes in short order, and if I had to pick any abortion law to fight over in the near future this would be the one. Partial birth/dilation & extraction/whatever makes a great wedge issue for the right because even ‘reasonable’ supporters of abortion rights feel a bit squeamish over it, even though it’s usually performed for medical reasons. The Supremes can easily go either way on that sort of law. Contrast that with the newly-minted law in South Dakota. The new law wedges the right for several reasons – fathers now have to imagine their raped daughters carrying the rapist’s baby, drunken one-nighters now carry a guaranteed life sentence of child-support, families that can’t afford another child now face bankruptcy and homelessness if they make a mistake. Abstaining may appeal to some but it hasn’t caught on among the party as a whole.
If any abortion law could possibly bring wavering Supreme Court justices down on the side of choice, this is it. So if we have anything but an insanely reactionary court this’ll go down easily. If the bill does pass the Court then it was only a matter of time before Roe fell anyway, because you can’t write a bill less likely to be upheld by moderates.
The most important point is that in the vanishingly unlikely event that the Court upholds the SD law then the dog will have finally caught the car. If you’re an Alabama or Mississippi state senator and you don’t enact a similar law post-haste, then it’s your own fault and your next primary opponent will make it his business to remind voters of that nasty little fact. That’s a nice bind for the national GOP, who can either lose at the state level or get crushed at the federal level. It’s pretty sad that the GOP heaps such hate on an institution that’s kept them from having to make that Sophie’s choice for going on thirty years now.
yeah, the goopers really screwed the pooch with this one. every time one of these laws gets struck down, it makes roe a little bit stronger.
I think I agree with Jack Balkin here
The law is so heinous and obviously unconstitutional, I doubt it even receives cert.
I think you miss the point.
It’ll reach SCOTUS next year, and it’ll fall 5-4. Then the right will just have another year or so of ranting about needing one more justice. It’ll be a great rallying point for the 2008 elections: “Just One More!”
Nice to see the Repugnuts and the Right in general going ahead with their war on women and their rights. It can only help improve upon the following:
Gallup: Democrats Stretch Lead in Vote for Congress
Fourteen-point Democratic lead is among the widest since 1994
Another interesting finding:
Poll: Cheney Less Popular Than OJ
I do not understand why lefties get so frantic at the prospect of Roe being overturned. Here is what will happen if Roe falls:
1) Utah and Alabama will ban abortion completely.
2) A dozen other states – including SD – will ban most abortions, but leave the usual exceptions: rape; incest; the mother’s health. (Yes, SD is in this category. They wrote a hardline law believing that it wouldn’t mean anything. The prospect of their law actually affecting people will moderate their thinking.)
3) The majority of states will leave abortion legal in most cicumstances, but will regulate the fringes (third trimester, parental consent, etc).
4) A few states will have abortion legal under all circumstances, for any reason or for no reason, with no regulation of any kind.
In short, better than 90% of women who want abortions will still be able to get them without Roe. And voters will actually have a voice.
I really doubt this one makes it to the Supreme Court, as well.
As a political matter, though, I would be absolutely thrilled to see South Dakota lose 5-4 in the Supreme Court. Nothing else would be quite as effective at lighting a fire under the pro-choice majority which has been taking its rights for granted.
I can’t imagine any scenario that would guarantee a Democrat in the White House more than having 4 guaranteed anti-Roe votes on the Supreme Court, with red state legislatures clamoring to ban abortion the instant a 5th vote materializes.
Yeesh. That’s scary, and it’s even scarier that it’s not that farfetched.
Anyway, Tim F, you’re missing the point: the GOP is the culture of life! No, not your life, silly, and certainly not some stupid hussy who couldn’t keep her legs together. The fertilized egg’s life, the one that has a chance of becoming an actual person. That counts WAY more than already-existing people do. Geesh.
SRV, putting my legal realist hat on (cough*Scalia*cough) SCOTUS wants no peace of this particular law. First of all there’s the “How bout now?” aspect. Granting cert here would be the equivalent of allowing 50 appeals of every SCOTUS decision. Second, this would be very very bad for the GOP politically if it was upheld, yet if it was actually struck down, it would make the next challenge a little harder (though that assumes non-results driven legal analysis, so YMMV greatly)
So, Roe v. Wade is in the Constitution? What is “unconstitutional” about S. Dakota’s law? And, when I look at Carpetbagger’s link, it reveals that the Left’s strategy is to pull out all the stops with the fear card: “what is a father rapes his daughter?” and “what if a prisoner rapes a stranger?”. Yes, those big, bad men will both keep women from aborting through choice, then rape them.
I am pro-choice, but I also believe that it’s well past the time for this issue to be taken to the people. Would you support that the Constitution be amended to allow abortion? I would, because then it would be settled by the people, and not 9 judges. This doesn’t show any contempt for the SCOTUS, it shows support for what its role is in government as the interpreter of law. What I would like to see is this obscene case of judicial activism (Roe) finally taken to the people.
Or do you trust your fellow citizens?
In the meantime, though, I weep for any women or girls whose lives are going to be irrevocably ruined because of those cruel, misogynistic, self-righteous assholes.
I’d take Joel’s crystal-ball predictions more seriously if he understood that Congress will have the power to enact abortion legislation which binds all 50 states.
I don’t understand the logic that says it’s a better world if voters have a voice over my personal decisions. Would it be better if voters got to decide if I can use birth control? Would it be better if voters got to decide how many kids I can have?
We don’t have to drag out the extreme cases. The bottom line for many women is we don’t want a bunch of asshole legislators assuming control over our reproductive systems. Similarly, we don’t want a bunch of asshole voters, most of whom don’t have a friggin’ clue about the consequences of their votes. Check out the buyer’s remorse on ole W.
It makes them feel all warm and fuzzy and moral to vote anti-choice. Sorry, they’ll have to find another source for that high. It sure as shit ain’t gonna be from imposing on my constitutional right to privacy.
What it actually means is that ruch white women will have abortion on demand. Everyone else, not so much. But they can’t be trusted to make there own decisions anyway. I mean George Will tells us that the poor are poor because they are stupid, so we have to infantalize their reproductive choices. For their own good you see.
What activism? They ruled it is a private issue between a woman and her doctor. Where’s the activism? Unless you’re one of the folks who thinks the Bill of Rights spells out the only rights we have instead of it codifying the most crucial in the eyes of the founders.
9th amendment anyone?
If everything were left to the voter, segregation would still be legal.
I also wonder what will happen if the ban gets to be the law of SD for a while. I’m thinking from the medical point of view, here:
What does the mortality rate of a particular condition have to be before a doctor may be confident an abortion passes the legal test to “prevent death”? What mortality rate will the good citizens and legislators of South Dakota accept? Must it be 90% likely the woman will die? How about 75%? Or will they go with more likely than not, 51%? What happens when a patient has a condition with a 30% mortality rate, but no SD doctor will do it for fear of prosecution? If she has the money, she can go out of state of course, but if not?
I’d hate to be a doctor in this situation, wondering if my medical advice is illegal and leaves me open to 5 years in jail.
I predict some interesting journalism, and a lot of anger if a woman dies because of this stupidity. And yes, I know some women will choose to chance it, but that’s the key – it’s her decision.
Brian – it depends on who the fellow citizens are, and where they are. If I lived in a very religious red state, then hell no, I would not trust my fellow citizens to protect my rights.
I don’t know from where you get that 90% figure. I suspect you hauled it out of your ass. At any rate, the women who live in the states that ban abortion – well, they now have no rights over their own reproduction. If states are allowed to have laws banning abortion in all circumstances, do you honestly think it wouldn’t progress to banning emergency contraception? And from there, what next? Banning the Pill? It wouldn’t surprise me one bit.
This isn’t something like zoning regulations, or sales taxes. This has the potential to destroy lives.
And Brian, yes, we will “pull out the fear card” as you put it. Why? Because laws like this take the most vulnerable people in our society, and it makes them even more vulnerable.
Currently, about 450,000 rapes or attempted rapes occur every year in America, and the figures for sex offenses (other than prostitution) are about two to three times higher than that. These high official figures mean the United States has the highest sex offense rates in the world. Rwanda is the only other country to come close, and the U.S. is still four times higher than it. Incest, however, is predominately a father-daughter affair 70% of the time. Some estimates put the amount of sexual abuse of children at 1.3 million a year. Link
So maybe you think that these women don’t deserve the right to not have to have the fruits of rape growing inside of their bodies for 9 months. But if you think that leaving the protection of these women and girls in the hands of unsympathetic assholes like the SD legislature is a fair thing and a good thing, then you’re just as horrible as they are.
It’s not like you can get an abortion in SD anyway, I don’t think there’s a single open clinic there. Maybe the courts will run away from it, but I can’t see anything enraging the base more. I just don’t think all those appointees are going to sit on their hands if they can work some judicial magic.
Just another dead ammendment.
How long before SD uses the inter-state commerce clause to regulate its inhabitants from going out of state for an abortion?
States have already tried it before, and been somewhat successful.. It was to stop underage girls from obtaining unsupervised abortions, but thats just a battle in a long war.
Death penalty for abortionists?
Isn’t all human life sacred? If abortion is wrong, isn’t killing abortionists also wrong?
The best part? The SD law is completely hypocritical (as pointed out on DKos):
Class 5 felony? Pray tell, what else is a Class 5 felony??? Oh…things like repeated DWIs and illegal internet gambling….
But, wait! I thought that fetuses and clumps of cells were human beings! Why are the docs being charged with murder, a Class A felony?
And, why are only the docs getting charged? What about the woman? No conspiracy provision?
Where are you going to draw the line, Don? Will you allow doctors to treat ectopic pregnancy, which is nearly 100% fatal to the mother? How about some of the severe cardiac abnormalities with pulmonary hypertension, where the fatality rate to the woman involved is 30-40%? Where are you going to draw the line, or do you feel the embryo (which is going to die if the woman dies) is worth more than the life of the woman? And would you feel differently if you were risking the life of your wife?
What about a woman pregnant with a fetus with anencephaly? She’ll know about early – 10 to 14 weeks on ultrasound. Those babies all die within hours to a few days – they have zero chance of survival. Should she have to carry an anencephalic fetus for 6 months for your principles?
Actually, the more I consider the case of an anencephalic fetus, the more it’s apparent that this gives the fetus more protected status, way more than a baby or grown person. Most of us would say that a person with (literally) no brain doesn’t exhibit what makes us human, and shouldn’t be artifically kept alive.
If you had an accident victim whose brain was gone, flat line on EEG, nothing on CT, would you campaign for a life-long respirator? Most of us would say that person was dead. Why is that different from a fetus with no brain? Why is it important that a baby with no brain be born, just to die within 24 to 48 hours?
I can’t wait for Brian to find out that after abortion is banned all birth control is next in line. Wait until the religous Right declare condoms and birth control pills to be outlawed.
He probably would say, “that’ll never happen”, until it actually happened. And even then, he’d minimize and play down the repercussions of it. But if someone he knows and loves suffers because of it, methinks he’d be singing a different tune.
How are they going to know if an abortion is performed? How will they know if a first trimester abortion occurs without busting through the Doctor-Patient privacy? Is it going to come down to witch hunts?
“I heard Jane Smith was pregnant, and now she isn’t. I bet she got an abortion. Better have the police investigate.”
It’s going to be a clusterfuck if you get a hodgepodge of abortion laws across the country. Not to mention the potential for the nightmare of new “Fugitive Slave Laws” for people that go out of state for an abortion. Can someone claim political asylum? Those extradition hearings will be a hoot too.
It’s also why this is guaranteed not to stay a state’s rights issue. The right wing GOP has already shown it’s propensity for dropping that little rallying cry when it suits them. There will be a blanket bill to ban all abortions.
Thing is, Brian, the Roe decision sent it back to the people-with a loose federal framework to work within.
I can’t wait to see the first responder training for dealing with blastulae.
s/blastulae/God’s precious babies/
Actually its called the “truth card”.
Damn this has been a good year so far and it’s even 1/4 over.
What else can the Republicans do t ensure their coming spectacular defeat? I mean do they really think working women don’t want the choice of abortion if they get knocked up and daddy’s not around or some heinouis is the father?
They’ve had a free ride for a decade about “partial birth” abortion. Now it comes down to the real thing, the real choice every 20 year-old having sex in college faces.
Pass the popcorn please.
While not as doomsdayish as Jason, I think his point about the GOP blatant disregard for the rule of law is a quite poignant.
It seems to me, all the machinations about what the States will or will not do are moot, should RvW actually be overturned.
The States would act and when the dust settled the pro-life side will demand a National ban of all abortions.
Remember, this is the era of “big government conservatism” where “activist judges” are the ones who don’t intervene when you want them to, “limited Government” is when highly profitable corporations receive “aid” in the form of our tax dollars, and you have to worry if what you did in your bedroom last night is legal or not, and the “interstate commerce clause” has no limits on things you dislike.
Remember folks, “states rights” are only as good as the AG or admin in charge…just ask Oregon, though hopefully now that we finally won, they’ll leave us alone.
“States’ rights” are what the Republicans will scream bloody murder about when the Democrats in Congress introduce a bill to guarantee nationwide access to abortion services. They’ll somehow manage to forget that they have already passed national legislation on abortion by claiming it affects “interstate commerce,” trust me.
I love how the supporters of this bill were so proud that they were able to squash amendments that would have made exceptions of rape, incest or the health of the mother.
Think about that. These are people who actually think it’s perfectly reasonable to force a girl who was raped by her father to bear her own siblings. Really. It’s not hyperbole, that’s the plain, simple reality of this law.
These people are evil. Apparently even “moderate” John McCain agrees with them.
It’s the congressional shutdown all over again. Newt overplayed his hand and down he went.
Sorry, I just don’t believe moms want their daughters to get knocked up by some joe and spend the rest of her life in poverty rather than finish college.
So, if 14 of the States determine that abortion is either not available at all within state lines, or is only available if a woman is raped or in danger, this will only effect 10% of all women who want to make the choice to have an abortion? Are you serious?
Do you have any idea how punitive this will be for women who can barely put food on the table for their family?
If I had to guess, the US District Court will invalidate the law, Circuit Court of Appeals will affirm and the Supremes will deny Certiorari. End of story, South Dakotans look stupid and the pro-lifers actually strengthen Roe v Wade.
Now how about some more Creationism oops, Intelligent Design, from Kansas.
They’ll also make it a crime to leave the state to have an abortion.
ImJohnGalt wrote: ” . . . this will only effect 10% of all women . . . ?”
Actually, probably less than 10%. The states that ban abortion completely will be small in population: Utah, Alabama, possibly Mississippi, possibly South Dakota. Large, populous states like NY, Cal, and Texas will keep abortion legal (Texas will probably regulate the fringes).
So yes, more than 90% of women will have access to abortion.
Food on their family?
Man, I’d love to see a total exodus of women from UT, AL, MS, SD and so on. Just get the hell out; let the trogs fuck each other or a sheep.
The Other Steve
I’ll help fund bus transportation for women in South Dakota who to want to go to another state. We’ll setup clinics right on the border to make it quicker and easier.
So perhaps you are right.
Just like Nevada generated a boombing industry by making divorce easy to obtain.
The Other Steve
Brain- You’ve never answered my question.
Where in the Constitution does it give authority to the Government to legislate abortion?
Have any of these lame-brains thought about the repercussions if they take it to the ultimate and grant “human rights” to a fertilized human egg? SD does, except then they say as long as you don’t know that you’re pregnant you can take emergency contraceptives with no problem. (And the logic behind that is mind-boggling.) (Oh, and tax law is gonna get real fun.)
What are miscarriages going to be classified as? Accidental Manslaughter?
What about people like my mother, who had difficulty carrying to term? I was the only one who survived; she had two stillbirths and at least one miscarriage. Guess since she knew there was a good chance of not succeeding, she should have been accused of deliberate manslaughter, huh?
Result: police investigation of every miscarriage. In fact, mandatory monthly pregnancy exams. (But it’s for the CHIIIILDREN….)
What about exposure to stuff in utero? Does this mean we finally get to clamp down on all the lead and mercury emissions out there? (Nah, we won’t do anything, as long as they’re living, we don’t care if they’re deformed or retarded.) We’d obviously have to forbid all women of childbearing age from any alcohol or going anywhere that she might be exposed to something nasty, don’t we? (whoops, I guess there goes most of the bar and wine club industry. And we obviously can’t sell any alcohol anywhere women might get their hands on it, so all-male speakeasies will make a come-back. No stuff at football games–no, nevermind. They’ll just go ahead and ban women from attending, like the Ancient Greeks and the Olympics.)
Result: any industry that uses tetragenic chemicals will vanish abroad, for fear of being sued. Heck, I can see half our phamaceutical industry will vanish as well. And most of the rest of our manufacturing as well. Basketweaving will make a comeback.
What about the fact that an estimate 40%-60% of blastocysts never make it, due to a) never being implanted b) spontaneous abortion due to other problems?
Gotta find something to stop those spontaneous abortions, don’t we? Nevermind that usually this occurs because there is something really wrong with the blastocyst/embryo/fetus. But we LOVE raising deformed children which will now make up half of the babies you give birth to. (Anyone remember thalidomide babies?)
Add to all of the above our society of litigation, how nasty divorces can get, and can I just say pass the popcorn?
Me, I’ll be watching this from another country far far away, thankyouverymuch.
Even if this does make it to the Supreme Court my bet is that it will come down 6-3 against not 5-4.
I wonder if 14 is too young to for a girl to give birth to her uncle? If grandpa knocks her up, it must be God’s Will(TM).
Many of you have probably heard this already, but it’s worth a listen if you haven’t. It’s a right-wing radio host who flips out when the caller asks him:
You know, I have yet to see an anti-choicer answer this question. They usually dismiss it as “glibness in the face of murder!” or some other such bullshit. But in fact, it’s a very important question. If you’re going to definie a fertilized egg as a person, then a woman who miscarries has killed a person under the law. That’s the logical extension of these dingbat definitions–in pushing so hard to make things square up with their “culture of life” horseshit, they’ve put themselves in a logical corner. Not that logic has ever meant anything to these people.
The answer, of course, is that a fertilized egg is not a person. It can become a person, but as was pointed out above, it could also be a miscarriage. Or a stillbirth. Anti-choicers need to incorrectly define a fertilized egg as a person in order to make their mealy-mouthed emotional appeals, but in reality, they’re full of it.
This anti-choicer (though I prefer the term “anti-abortion”) says that miscarriages are like heart attacks and strokes. Death by natural causes, in other words.
Not the same as making somebody die, which is what abortion is.
Other people don’t cause you to have a heart attack or a stroke. A mother causes a miscarriage. Her body rejects the fetus. Therefore she is responsible for the death of the fetus. At the least it would be involuntary manslaughter.
What other things shall we put to popular vote? Equal protection under the law based on sex or race?
Even if birth control pills should become illegal (arguably since taking an extra high dose works as a morning after pill) there are always herbal abortifacients which use substances easy enough to find even in SD. Is the state going to begin investigations into whether a miscarriage is really miscarriage or will they just assume on faith that every miscarriage is really just a miscarriage? And if not what then? What if a woman/girl takes the herbal route early is there anyway to prove whether a pregnancy was really prevented or not? Is it a crime to even use the substances not that much could be proved when using substances/herbs which are common. How can the state prove a miscarriage was manufactured if no one knew the woman was pregnant to begin with, which in most cases it won’t if the woman says nothing? Here come the Vera Drakes. IN any case SD sucks.
The following states have “trigger laws” that outlaw abortion if RvW is overturned: Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, and Utah. Adding those numbers to South Dakota, Mississippi and Alabama, that is well more than 10% of the population.
Brian, yes it’s unconstitutional. However, the clause is the equal protection of the 14th amendment. It’s a crime, but only one participant can be charged and sent to prison?
There are situations where a specialist can be charged and the other participant left free. In some cases these are license violations, and in others it’s when the other participant can’t reasonably be expected to know it’s a crime. Somehow I just don’t see that applying here.
They’re not “anti-choice,” they’re not “anti-abortion,” and they’re certainly not “pro-life.” That needs to be made clear. They’re anti- safe, legal abortion. The unsafe, illegal kind is fine with them. Women dying of illegal, unsafe abortions are fine with them.
They’re anti-woman. Including, yes, the women who support the law.
Birth control is next on the anti-woman agenda. The nutbars haven’t exactly made a secret of that. Over on RS, they were foaming over a decision to make the morning-after pill available without a prescription. All the words they’ve never used to describe torturing and murdering prisoners, they were happy to use in decribing the morning-after pill.
Oh Tim, your analogy about the car and the dog and the long suburban street was spot on.
Furthermore, for all those who are in favor of the law but would allow an exception for rape: What does this entail? Does the victim merely have to say she was raped, or do we have to wait for a conviction? Will there be government officials who determine if a rape took place? DO you even know who long it takes most felony trials to actually take place, a lot longer then 9 months, I assure you.
Could a woman just accuse a friend of raping her and then be entitled to an abortion? Us guys better watch who we sleep with or we might find ourselves on trial for first degree rape merely for a faulty condom.
Oh ho, the dog has indeed caught the speeding car.
I really can’t talk about this subject much, it gets me too upset. I’m embarassed to be an American right now.
I really can’t talk about this subject much, it gets me too upset. I’m embarassed to be an American right now.
I don’t think it will pass because I think it’s unconstitutional. Roe vs. Wade was based on a woman’s right to privacy and it won’t be knocked down because of that same reason.
The argument goes like this. A fetus is living off the body of a mother, and is a part of the woman’s body. Until a certain point in the fetus’s development, it has no functioning mental processes, and as such is not considered “alive” by our standards. Remember Terri Schiavo and the willingness by the courts to pull her plug based on her cortical non-function? It shouldn’t be any different for a fetus. After a fetus reaches mental cognition, I’m guessing around 4 months, that fetus is a functioning person and should be treated as such. At that point, abortions should not be allowed and pregnant women who’s fetus dies as a result of violence, can charge the perpetrator with murder. Certain exceptions could be made, however, such as if it can be shown that the fetus will damage the health of the mother or that the fetus will not have a functioning cortex upon birth.
The problem is, no one has legally defined personhood for a fetus as we have for existing people. We should draw the line at a certain time in fetal development, and be done with it. I think that should be a fair compromise for everyone and consistent in it’s logic.
let’s say you save the girl, and all the ‘born’ people get out alive. however, tanks holding frozen blastula, about 1000 of em, are destroyed in the blaze. does that make the raving nutjob who set the fire the greatest mass murderer in american history?
what about the doctors? everybody knows that IV fertilization creates more fertilized eggs than are necessary because chances are most of them won’t implant. so they create five or so knowing full well that four of them will likely die and only one will become a fetus in utero. so are the doctors guilty of manslaughter? wrongful death?
Exactly, Chopper. And let’s not forget that none of them can say exactly what the punishment should be for a woman who gets an illegal abortion. Death by finger wagging?
Nothing like empty preachy holier-than-thou talk. I coulda sworn that Bible book said something about that…
This may be a first, scs, but I more or less agree with you.
The problem, however, comes when trying to make a compromise with the anti-choice right. I’d be willing to “regulate the fringes,” as people have been saying in this thread, but anti-choicers can’t be trusted to leave it at that. They’d want to keep chipping at it. “OK, so we banned abortion under circumstance A, but what about circumstances, B, C, D, and E?” And so on until they get what they’ve always wanted–absolutely no choice for a woman.
Certainly not if as The National Review desires if daddy fucks you and makes you pregnant by all means have the kid.
Three more years of this insanity.
Hon, it can still pass. They’ll be an injunction against it after the instantaneous suit that comes forth as a result.
As for the rest of your post I basically agree with you.
I also agree with SeesThroughIt’s caveats.
Yes, and the real, real problem is that for most of that “wing” the issue isn’t “life” at all, it’s power, or politics. I know very few of these people who actually display any particular reverence for life that is remarkable in any way whatever. I simply don’t believe their bullshit. At all.
Death Penalty for anti-abortionist communist GOP suck-asses. Hang the right wing morons by the balls or teats. These religious assholes want to flush the constitution down the toilet and put their religious values down as the law of the country. Where is religious freedom. I say, if you dont want an abortion dont get one. If you believe in some superior being, then teach your children your beliefs so they follow your ignorant teachings. But dont try and tell me what I should do with my body and dont try to teach me your ignorant beliefs.