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We Are Grateful That Partial-Birth Abortion Has Been Outlawed, But…

The Supreme Court ruled in Gonzales v. Carhart (April 18) to outlaw partial-birth abortion (also known as late-term abortion), a barbarous procedure in which a baby is partially delivered, and his skull is pierced with a scissors. The five-to-four decision was supported by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito.

However, the ban on partial-birth abortion will not save the life of one baby. As Fr. Thomas J. Euteneuer, the President of Human Life International, said, “we recognize, however, that not one baby will be saved by this decision…” (www.catholicnewsagency.com, April 19). In Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissenting opinion, she noted that this ruling “saves not a single fetus from destruction.” There are other ways of performing this procedure (but this is supposedly the safest way for the mother). Furthermore, the outlawing of partial-birth abortion does not endanger Roe v. Wade.

The bigger news (overlooked or ignored by George W. Bush prolifers) was that Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia in Gonzales v. Carhart filed a concurring opinion saying that Roe “has no basis in the Constitution,” and that they want to overturn Roe (according to The New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, April 19). Neither Roberts nor Alito (both appointed by Bush) signed that concurring opinion, nor did any other Justice sign it.

According to the Chronicle (April 19), “Kennedy, Roberts and Alito said repeatedly that they assumed the continuing validity of a 1992 ruling [Planned Parenthood v. Casey] that upheld a constitutional right to abortion, but limited it by allowing restrictions that did not impose an undue burden on women [having an abortion].”

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