By now, most people are aware of the summary holding in Gonzales v. Carhart: for the first time since Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court left standing a law proscribing a particular abortion procedure without an exception to safeguard a woman’s health. Standing alone, this is a terrible result, but understanding how the decision was made is more frightening still.
In upholding the “Partial-Birth Abortion Act” (referred to here as just “the Act”), the Supreme Court’s new majority drew upon old lies about the emotional fragility of women, and the need to protect from their own decisions. The Court used this new/old lie to bypass forty years of precedent safeguarding reproductive rights. The Court allowed Congress to place political values over best medical practice, and to put women’s lives at risk. The lie at the center of Carhart could return to threaten our freedom to live according to our own values.
Read the rest of this post at Sex in the Public Square.
2 thoughts on “The Lie at the Heart of Gonzales v. Carhart”
“The lie at the center of Carhart could return to threaten our freedom to live according to our own values.”
Of course, you don’t mean to include the unborn when speaking of “freedom to live.” The real problem with Carhart is that it doesn’t fully recognize that abortion kills a living, breathing, human being with a heartbeat who deserves rights whether in the late-term or not. But then Kennedy might not have sided with the majority if it went that far. But in the end, whatever language is used in the Carhart opinion to get 5 votes is all that was needed. That’s the way Supreme Court opinions go.
By the way, “best medical practice” requires “first, doing no harm.” If you truly believed that, you would not advocate for elective abortion on demand.
As always, thank you!